Australia Plans Blockchain Prototype to Deliver Welfare Payments in 2019


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The Australian government’s digitization agency has revealed plans to explore the implementation of blockchain technology in delivering social security welfare payments to citizens.

Speaking at a conference in Sydney last week, Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) chief executive Randall Brugeaud underlined welfare payment delivery as an early use case for its blockchain implementation effort. The DTA was established in 2015, part of the government’s broad digitization agenda that tasks the agency to engage other government bodies and help them undergo digitization.

In statements reported by ZDNet, the official stated:

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 a view of having a prototype by the end of the next financial years.

There are significant advantages of delivering social security welfare to citizens over a blockchain including transparency, immutability and increased efficiency with automated payments. Specifically, the effort focuses on payments from Centrelink, part of the Department of Health Services (DHS) that ‘delivers a range of payments and services for people at times of major change,’ as described by the Australian government.

The initiative comes to light soon after the DTA was allocated AU$700,000 by the Australian government as a part of its 2018-19 budget to specifically research blockchain applications in government services.

“The potential of blockchain to securely record transactions will be investigated, drawing on the experience of other public and private sector organizations,” Brugeaud added.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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