All federal government services to be online by 2025 – The Australian Financial Review

The federal government has pledged to have all its services available digitally by 2025, enabling Australians to deal with government anywhere and on any device.
About 47 per cent of federal services are now digitised and the pledge is part of a refreshed digital strategy that aims to make the Australian government one of the top three digital governments in the world.
Reuse of core technologies by government agencies is now “cabinet mandated”, says Stuart Robert. Alex Ellinghausen
This will be based on the OECD Digital Government index. South Korea, Britain and Colombia were the top three in the most recent index in 2019. Australia was among a handful of OECD nations that did not submit any data.
After the Audit Office reported widespread non-compliance with basic cyber requirements, four new cyber hubs are also to be established in the major agencies.
These are envisaged to be within Services Australia, Tax, Defence and Home Affairs and will support the long tail of small and medium agencies that have little or no cyber resources.
“They will revolve around 42 core cyber requirements and will be based on the world-leading 24/7 Cyber Ops Centre that has been developed in Services Australia over the past three years,” Digital Minister Stuart Robert said.
As part of a further tightening of sovereign control, all government agencies will be required to hold all their data in certified local data centres by mid next year. All data that is moved must also be routed within Australia.
”Any so-called fastest routes that go through [global] exchanges … have ceased. Government data at rest and in motion will now be exclusively within Australia,” Mr Robert said.
Announcing the strategic update, Mr Robert said all Australian government departments and agencies must work together.
‘We must be pulling in the same direction, it will be our laser-like focus to make sure that happens,’ Mr Robert said.
Mr Robert told an Australian Information Industry Association conference the government would be releasing a beta version of its revamped myGov service portal in 10 days’ time, including a much anticipated app version.
“We have listened closely to our customers to incrementally design and deliver a modern, flexible and personalised platform. I look forward to it rolling out more widely, including as an app, next year.
Mr Robert said the new myGov platform will be the basis for a “tell-us-once approach”.
“We know people are fed up with having to fill in multiple forms, providing the same data again and again across multiple services, instead of government prefilling the data and enabling them to verify its accuracy, like we do with the myTax service.”
There are now more than 20 million accounts. Mr Robert said myGov had now been linked with the government’s newly rebadged “Digital Identity” portal, where users can verify their identity.
This identity proof can then be used to access myGov, “removing the need of having to remember complex passwords so that Australians can securely access services the same way they do with their bank.”
Ahead of passage of critical new legislation to enable state, territory and private sector services to use the new identity system, the DTA is opening consultations with business, inviting firms to register the service or services they would like to provide or access in the system.
“By registering their interest, businesses will open a direct pathway into the government’s Digital Identity program – enabling them to find out how the system might benefit their business and customers, how and when they can participate in the system, and how they can contribute to the governance and operation of the system.”
Mr Robert said Australians can now access services requiring a higher level of identity verification through facial verification, known as IP3 or identity proofing level 3.
“This allows people to do things like create a tax file number and get access to Centrelink services entirely online.
“To give context, using the new online tax file number service with Digital Identity has reduced the time to get a tax file number from as long as 28 days down to just a few minutes.”
Also released was the first public version of the whole-of-government digital architecture to enable a suite of services to be delivered off a series of reusable platforms, so agencies do not have to duplicate core technologies.
”It’s the first time it’s ever been done to this depth and breadth, and it will grow rapidly,” Mr Robert said.
Payments, for example, will be based on Service Australia’s new multibillion-dollar payment platform. Agencies looking to offer permissions, licences and visas will use the Home Affairs permissions system, now in development.
To enforce this central way of thinking, a new “ICT oversight framework” is being brought online to allow the DTA to provide oversight of the annual $10 billion spend on digital and ICT across the entire project lifecycle. This replaces a similar function carried out by the Department of Finance.
All major IT proposals will need to have an assurance plan signed off by the Digital Transformation Agency.
A reuse policy and catalogue has also been developed to provide agencies with a “consolidated view of emerging or existing government platforms and help identify and share reusable platforms”.
“Reuse of core tech is now a cabinet-mandated requirement,” Mr Robert added.
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