Synergy and KPMG supporting DTA's digital identity program

23 February 2021 2 min. read

The Digital Transformation Agency has selected Synergy Group and KPMG to advise on the government’s Digital Identity scheme to help pave the way for paid external participation.

Launched over five years ago, Digital Identity provides users and businesses with a single, app-based access point for online government services such as the ATO, Australia Post and Centrelink. $450 million in federal funding has been committed to the project to date, including a $250 million sum in last year’s budget.

Now, preparations are underway to expand the program to state governments and the private sector, with the government last year signalling participation would be paid for. The Digital Transformation Agency has brought in Canberra-based Synergy Group alongside KPMG among others to help develop the payment framework for private enterprises seeking to participate in the digital verification scheme.

Synergy and KPMG supporting DTA's digital identity program

The six-month consulting project is worth more than $3.6 million, with Synergy scoring a $2.5 million share to deliver services for two of the tendered packages. Founded in 1999 and with a current roster of more than 350 consultants, including many ex-public servants, Canberra-based Synergy is a specialist government and public sector consulting firm covering a wide range of services, including strategic planning, change management, digital transformation and program delivery.

Synergy will help to establish a framework for state and territory governments to gain access to the Digital Identity platform, alongside private industry. Global professional services firm KPMG was awarded a $260,000 contract on the project, with digital consultancies NTT Digital and Liquid Experiences to receive around $820,000 and close to $160,000 respectively for their services rendered.

The Digital Identity program was borne out of the Australian Government’s 2013 Financial Systems Inquiry, which ultimately recommended developing a national strategy “for a federated-style model of trusted digital identities”. The government has since stated that participating entities, such as banks, will be required to undergo a rigorous evaluation “across all aspects of their operations” in order to receive accreditation, including in terms of security and privacy protection for customers.

Speaking to the InnovationAus website, a spokesperson for the Digital Transformation Agency confirmed the nature of the newly awarded contracts. “The work relates to the development of a charging framework for the federated digital identity system. The charging framework will support the ongoing requirements for the program as it is expanded to additional identity and service providers and ensure it is appropriately funded to deliver a whole-of-economy solution to Australians.”