Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull Directs Digital Transformation Agency To Study Blockchain
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull issued directives to the Digital Transformation Agency to explore applications of blockchain technology for government use cases. Australian Digital Transformation Agency was established in the year 2015 to assist government departments and agency in embracing digital technologies. The role of the agency has grown multifold over the years to ensure transformation across several government bodies, and it also keeps a vigil eye on government’s IT agenda.
We’re trying to make it fairer to sell digital services to government. After 3 weeks of user research we held 2 workshops with 17 government buyers and 23 industry sellers. Thanks for helping us prioritise and refine our ideas #ICTProcurement pic.twitter.com/npfGJHTqIm
— DTA (@DTA) May 22, 2018
DTA Chief Digital Officer Peter Alexander divulged that funding has been earmarked in the federal budget for exploration of blockchain technology.“The Prime Minister, in fact, wrote to our minister [assistant minister for digital transformation Michael Keenan] and asked us to have a look at blockchain, which evolved into this particular piece of work,” he said.
The DTA has been granted $700,000 in this year’s budgetary allocation to explore uses of the distributed ledger technology. The agency would work to find out the modus operandi of blockchain and test the value proposition of the technology for the government. It is widely believed that government welfare payments will be tested first using blockchain technology. The immutability of blockchain technology would weed out counterfeit and ghost beneficiaries, if any, in the welfare service payments.
Mr. Alexander said that the agency is also testing waters for trade settlements, cargo supply chain management and providence of data using blockchain to ensure accuracy and trustworthiness.DTA has initiated a collaboration with Commonwealth Bank and several other stakeholders to figure out how blockchain might impact the fintech space.
The Chief Digital Officer informed that eight Govpass digital identity pilot projects were expected to undergo assimilation with blockchain during the fiscal year 2018-2019. The Australian Taxation Office’s new online service for tax file application has been scheduled for launch in October this year. More than 100,000 people are expected to avail this service by the end of this year. More services for businesses, students, academia and welfare beneficiaries are on government’s radar for blockchain development use case.
Image via Malcolm Turnbull Facebook Page
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