Australian Government Allocates AU$700,000 to Develop Blockchain-powered Welfare Payments

The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA), an Australian government division that facilitates government information and services online, will explore new ways in which blockchain technology can deliver government services, given the AU$700,000 ($525,710) allocated in the 2018-19 budget.

To start with, DTA will spearhead its study with an aim to bring into play blockchain technology for distribution welfare payments. The government agency will also look into Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to automize range of government services.

DTA to Explore Existing Use Cases of Blockchain Tech
The quest to move forward will see the DTA probe existing distributed ledger technology (DLT) use cases in government and the private sector, highlighting the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in particular, who has been piloting DLT for over two years to incorporate it to the securities exchange.

In 2017, the ASX publicized to switchover the existing Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS) with blockchain technology developed by U.S.-based blockchain firm Digital Asset.

Randall Brugeaud, Deputy Statistician at Australian Bureau of Statistics and currently acting CEO at DTA, said:

“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.”

At the CeBIT conference on May 16, Brugeaud pointed that after researching existing DLT use cases of government and private businesses, the DTA will develop a prototype with an aim to disrupt the welfare payment delivery system using blockchain technology. The prototype is envisioned to available by mid-2019.

“We’ll also build on work done across government already, such as the CSIRO’s work on distributed ledgers,” said Brugeaud.

Digitalization Government Services With DLT
In a bid to efficiently and digitally deliver government services, the DTA will research Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, to further deploy it to a range of government services, while cutting back on the bureaucratic paper-intensive process.

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