WA begins work on digital credentials

Brandon How

Western Australia has begun developing digital credentials and associated features for its ServiceWA smartphone app after awarding a $3 million contract to two local firms.

The 16-month contract was awarded to Perth-based software developers GenVis and Adapptor last month, with the split of payment between the two not yet determined.

According to a spokesperson for the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, in which the Office of Digital Government (ODG) sits, the “new features will include some refurbishment of the App, a ServiceWA wallet, digital credentials, and a search capability for occupational licences”.

By the end of 2023, the state government expects the ServiceWA App to include digital credentials for a seniors card, recreational boat and fishing licenses, occupational license search, and information on Emergency Department wait times.

Since its launch in January 2022, the government has added a range of features to the app, including FuelWatch, Unclaimed Money, SharkSmart, Weather Stations, and Emergency WA bushfire warning notifications.

Western Australia’s Innovation and Digital Economy minister Stephen Dawson.

An ongoing contract with GenVis for ServiceWA app support and maintenance will expire at the start of 2024. The original value of this contract was initially just over $2.5 million, but it has since been revised to more than $5 million.

The contract initially covered work on ServiceWA’s predecessor SafeWA, which was a COVID-19 contact register system.

In a separate contract, GenVis was initially contracted to work on SafeWA on November 18, 2020 for three years. The estimated value has since more than double from $3 million to $6.2 million.

In late 2022, the ODG went to market again “to ensure it was still receiving value for money for app development services,” according to the spokesperson. No further development work will be undertaken through the existing ServiceWA GenVis contract.

Deloitte was also paid an estimated $434,000 in November 2022 to produce a ‘ServiceWA Service Strategy and Baseline’ over three months.

ServiceWA was launched in January 2022 and included functionality for proof of vaccination, access to the G2G Pass for interstate travel while border closures were still in place, and the check-in features of SafeWA.

The system requires the use of the Commonwealth government’s Digital Identity system, meaning myGovID is needed to access the ServiceWA app.

The Commonwealth and New South Wales governments are pushing for closer integration between myGov functionality and ServiceNSW, including access to medicare cards on ServiceNSW and viewing New South Wales digital driver’s licences in myGov.

When asked by InnovationAus.com for an update on the integration between the myGov and ServiceWA apps, Federal Minister for Government Services Bill Shorten said it is “a work in progress”.

He also reiterated his call for integrating digital services across Australian governments and other Commonwealth departments,

“We can all develop our own apps and our own silos, or we can work together. I think it makes sense for our state governments, who haven’t got their own digital identity credentials already available,” Mr Shorten said late last month.

“If you’re a West Australian taxpayer, you would probably hope that rather than the West Australian government spend some money on digital credentials and the Commonwealth spend some duplicating money on credentials, let’s do it together.”

The Western Australian government has allocated $900 million towards its Digital Capability Fund since September 2021 “to drive more strategic and targeted investment in digital transformation across the public sector and provide the capacity to upgrade legacy ICT systems”.

In mid-March 2023, the state government released its Second Digital Strategy Roadmap, which included 27 new initiatives funded mostly through the Digital Capability Fund.

State minister Stephen Dawson’s portfolio was rebranded from ‘Innovation and ICT’ to ‘Innovation and Digital Economy’ at the end of 2022.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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