The federal government’s Digital Transformation Strategy will be refreshed to meet the growing demand on digital services witnessed over the last year.
Government Services Minister Stuart Robert told the Digital Transformation Agency’s (DTA) Digital Summit on Tuesday that he had tasked the agency to update the strategy it unveiled in late 2018.
Mr Robert also confirmed that the digital identity service myGovID would integrate with the DTA’s beta version of a new myGov platform by the end of the year, rather than the main platform, and that the long-awaited Data Availability and Transparency Bill would be introduced to Parliament in the coming weeks.
The Digital Transformation Strategy was launched in late 2018 with an aim to make all government services available digitally by 2025. It included a range of projects and deadlines across the coming years, including around digital identity and the Tell Us Once project.
The DTA has now been tasked with refreshing the strategy to “take into account the changed world we find ourselves in now”, Mr Robert said.
“The pandemic brought millions of Australians into contact with government, and due to social distancing restrictions, it became a necessity for people to access the services they needed through digital channels,” Mr Robert said in the speech.
“The settings, expectations and needs of businesses and individuals have dramatically changed over the last 12 months. We are progressing a whole new host of approaches, strategies and initiatives that are seeking to address this, but we cannot do it in isolation.
“This strategy update will be focusing on delivering the services Australians rely on as soon as possible, to help those most in need and to support the nation’s economic recovery.”
The DTA will release a discussion paper on the new strategy next week.
The minister also revealed that the ATO’s digital identity service myGovID would be integrated with the DTA’s new myGov beta by the end of the year, when a new version of that test platform is released to the public.
The DTA had earlier planned to integrate myGovID with the main myGov platform by July this year, but a small pilot testing of this earlier this year identified a number of problems.
The digital ID will now be first incorporated with just the myGov beta platform.
Mr Robert confirmed that state and territory governments would soon be included in the wider digital identity program, and legislation would be released for consultation in the coming weeks to expand the program to the private sector.
“The legislation will include additional safeguards and oversight to ensure all Australians will have trust and confidence in the digital identity system as it is expanded to include state, territory and private sector services,” he said.
The Data Availability and Transparency Bill, which will significantly increase the sharing of data in the public sector, will be introduced to Parliament during the current sitting fortnight, Mr Robert confirmed, after years in development.