Blockchain to Deliver Welfare Payments in Australia
The Australian government’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA), has disclosed plans to explore blockchain tech use cases with the intention to digitally transform the delivery system of Centrelink welfare payments. DTA will also research how Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can deliver a range of government services in a more efficient way.
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Prototype Envisioned by Mid-2019
At a CeBIT conference, Acting CEO Randall Brugeaud outlined DTA’s plan to explore blockchain technology use in the welfare payments system with an intent to have a prototype by mid-2019.
“Our plan is to look for use cases across the Commonwealth with an initial focus on the welfare payment delivery system, then working with our digital service standard, we’ll conduct user research with a view to having a prototype by the end of next financial year.”
The Australian government’s intention to automate the welfare payments delivery system was more noticeable in the Federal Budget 2018, where it pledged about $300 million AUD to be spent over the course of four years. The DTA was allocated $700,000 to explore the ways in which distributed ledger technology (DLT) could efficiently be deployed to deliver government services.
Researching Use Cases of DLT
The DTA will study use cases of the tech across the public and private sectors to determine the best course of action in leveraging distributed ledger technology for the Centrelink Master Program.
The Digital Transformation Agency needs to look no further than the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), which is in a two-year pilot program to examine the incorporation of blockchain technology on their exchange platform. Last year, the ASX announced plans to replace its existing clearing system, dubbed CHESS (Clearing House Electronic Subregister System) with DLT. Per Brugeaud:
“The potential of blockchain to securely record transactions will be investigated, drawing on the experience of other public and private sector organisations. We’ll also build on work done across government already, such as the CSIRO’s work on distributed ledgers.”
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning also make up DTA’s research checklist, potentially offering new automated government service delivery methods.
Governments around the world are exploring blockchain technology to easily, securely, and more efficiently deliver services to citizens. Implementing blockchain technology to deploy government services can significantly reduce bureaucratic and paper-intensive processes. In a bid to stay ahead of the curve, Australia joins countries like the United States and the United Arab Emirates, who are running pilot programs to deploy a range of government services via blockchain technology.
Can blockchain technology transform welfare payment delivery systems? Share your views in the comments section below.
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