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Australia retires digital health pass, plans improvements and a comeback

Australia retires digital health pass, plans improvements and a comeback
 

Australia’s Digital Passenger Declaration app, which had been used to collect vaccination status and passport information from travelers flying into the country, has been retired in its most recent form.

The app requirement ended this week. Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said it “needs a lot more work,” according to InnovationAus.com.

More than AU$60 million (US$41 million) had already been spent by the government on the app. It was the first major delivery of a digital permissions plan budgeted for AU$74.9 million in 2020-2021.

O’Neil said that the government has listened to feedback about the app, which reportedly were largely negative and included blame for extensive airport delays across Australia.

The app launch was delayed, and the public sector union said it was riddled with errors.

Consulting firm Accenture won the main contract for the project, while ForgeRock was chosen to provide IAM capabilities. The National Audit Office began an investigation in March into the procurement process, which was carried out by the Department of Home Affairs and Digital Transformation Agencies.

Australia’s government has struggled to address gaps in its digital ID system for several years.

The Digital Passenger Declaration app could make a comeback in a more polished form.

Digital health passes are being phased out around the world, ahead of the latest wave of Covid variants.

But some countries are still putting them in the field, as in Ethiopia. The challenge remains making them universally interoperable or even creating a single, global credential.

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