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If all goes according to plan, in the very near future, the Commonwealth of Australia will become one of the top-three digital governments in the world. That’s right, the country that brought us Fosters, Paul Hogan, and the Sydney Opera House is going digital – or at least many of their government agencies are.
IBM is Working with the Australian Government
Last July, it was announced that IBM signed a $740 million (USD) contract with the largest country in Oceania, to help add more automation, self-service options, and digitization. The agreement, which runs through 2023, is the highest-value contract ever negotiated by the Australian government.
Led by Australia’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA), the agreement will transform the Commonwealth into e-government through the use of blockchain technology.
Stellar: an Open Source Blockchain for Cross-Border Transactions
One company that will play a key role in this transformation is Stellar (XLM). For those unfamiliar, Stellar is an open source blockchain designed to become the future of banking by allowing users to send money quickly and affordably. The network operates using its native token, which is known as the Lumens (XLM). Stellar will be teaming with IBM to assist with the upcoming project. The companies have worked to together in the past on projects like IBM’s Universal Payment Solution.
As Financial Mercury’s Albert Kim explains, “The choice by the Australian government to use the Stellar IBM partnership is because the company currently runs 9 Stellar ecosystem nodes that act as enablers to make cross-border transactions fast and affordably.”
He Continues, “With its back-end payment model, Stellar is set to be part of the Australian government social welfare payment project. This requires timely payments that are down to the micro-payment level and the digital coin system fits the bill.”
This isn’t Australias only Partnership with IBM
Several agencies, such as the Department of Human Services (DHS), the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) already have existing partnerships with IBM. However, the new agreement is expected to build on the already established relationships by allowing these agencies more autonomy and flexibility to change the profile of the tech they currently use. In addition, the new arrangement should also make it easier and more cost-effective for these agencies to access emerging techs like blockchain and AI.
IBM will also provide the Australian government access to their “Building Digital Capability” tools and resources. The tools can be used to help the government keep up with the changing needs of the workplace, while also raising digital literacy.
David La Rose, Managing Director IBM Australia & New Zealand spoke very enthusiastically about the partnership.
“The Whole of Government agreement reflects the growing importance of technology to the government’s transformation agenda. For agencies, it will be more simple and cost-efficient to engage with IBM, while our technologies make it possible for government to deliver smarter, integrated, always-on digital services for citizens,” he said.
“This agreement is a testament to our forty-year partnership with the Australian Government. It shows trust and belief in our ability to transform and provide world-leading capabilities, leveraging our investments locally in AI, blockchain, quantum, and cloud. We look forward to helping the Australian Government to re-define the digital experience for the benefit of all Australians.”