AU: Anti-ID theft computer system flops

Mark Davis reports:

A $28 million Howard government plan to create a high-tech system to address identity crime has been plagued by technical difficulties and failed to achieve its aims, the Australian National Audit Office says.

The National Document Verification Service, announced by the Coalition in 2006, is a computer network which is supposed to link federal and state government agencies responsible for key identity documents such as birth certificates, passports and drivers’ licences.

It is meant to check the veracity of documents presented by people as proof of identity when applying for services or benefits at a wide range of agencies.

But a report by the Australian National Audit Office found that despite the Attorney-General’s Department spending $17 million to establish the service and link it to dozens of agencies, the system is not being used because of concerns over its accuracy and timeliness.

Read more in The Age.

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