Service NSW gets funding to begin work on digital ID wallet

The NSW government has earmarked $8.9 million to begin work on a personalised digital wallet that will allow citizens to prove their identity and share decentralised credentials.

The funding, which will be sourced from the state’s $2.1 billion digital restart fund, was revealed in the NSW half-yearly budget update [pdf] yesterday.

The Department of Customer Service first revealed plans for the digital wallet or “credential vault”, last month, when it issued an expression of interest to find the necessary underpinning platforms.

The digital wallet – considered a major element of the government’s recently released digital strategy – would allow citizens to manage and share decentralised, verifiable credentials.

It is anticipated that the wallet would enable citizens to verify both government and private sector credentials such as trade licences in the future.

Digital Minister Victor Dominello told iTnews last month that making credentials verifiable was important with the boundaries between the physical and virtual world increasingly blurred.

Budget documents released on Thursday indicate that the digital wallet and digital identity hub within the Service NSW app would be accompanied by a commercial credential exchange.

Cyber security

The budget update also contains $98.7 million in funding for cyber security, which – like funding for the digital identity hub and digital wallet – has also been sourced from the digital restart fund.

More than half of this will flow to four clusters, with $67.5 million allocated to initiatives at the departments of Education, Customer Service, Premier and Cabinet and Transport for NSW.

The remaining $31.2 million has been allocated to 14 agencies from what the government describes as a “new $75 million cyber reservation for small and independent agencies”.

It is not clear whether any of the new funding will flow to the NSW Electoral Commission, which has had its last four bids for funding to protect electoral systems against threats rejected.

Other funding

As announced by the government earlier this month, the NSW spatial digital twin platform will receive $40 million over three years.

The funding will create a 4D model of the entire state, building on the eight local government areas, including Greater Parramatta and the Olympic Peninsula, that have already been mapped.

Budget documents also show that $10.5 million will be released from the “Smart Places reservation” to fund three projects, including one called Asset AI.

Asset AI will “use machine learning to predict and manage the risk to community from deteriorating transportation assets and defects”, the government said.

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