ID cohesion circling
Steps are being taken toward a cohesive national digital ID system.
Following a meeting of state and federal data and digital ministers, a “nationally coordinated approach” to the development of a common digital identity system has been agreed upon.
The approach aims to harmonise standards and credentials to make it easier for citizens to interact with government and to enable transferability of trade accreditations and vetting certificates.
The focus will be on an opt-in system that allows individuals to control the use of digital IDs. The goal is to create a system that seamlessly recognizes digital credentials across states and territories.
The initiative is intended to improve the transferability of working accreditations, such as those for electricians, builders, welders, chippies and plant operators, across the country.
The development of a nationally interoperable ecosystem for digital identity credentials will bring an end to the jurisdictional identity wars that have created cross-state recognition issues for workers and citizens since the country's inception.
However, the implementation of the system will be a challenging task for the Australian government, which has previously struggled with digital reform.
The government must overcome resistance from the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), which opposes digitisation due to concerns about automation and job losses.
Finance and public service minister and ACT senator Katy Gallagher is responsible for whole-of-government IT, while Victor Dominello, the minister for customer service and digital government, is likely to be a key figure in the government's digital transformation efforts.
Despite previous failures, the government hopes that the implementation of a common digital identity system will bring about much-needed change after the debacle of the robodebt scandal.