Family and domestic violence creates complex economic issues for those in abusive relationships. Financial abuse occurs in approximately 99% of cases and is a primary reason victims stay in, or return to, abusive partners. Family violence is the single largest driver of homelessness for women, with 60% at risk due to financial dependence on their attacker.
This challenge is proposed by the Department of Human Services (DHS), an Australian Government department that provides essential services to almost every Australian. Through Medicare, social welfare, aged care, child support and crisis recovery, they assist people to meet life’s most fundamental challenges.
Those escaping violence require simple, fast, safe access to welfare payments to enable them to leave an abusive relationship. Many fleeing violence leave with limited access to money, personal paperwork and the identification documents required to apply for social support payments and access to services.
Waiting periods for income support payments vary, depending on a number of factors. This is further complicated if the customer cannot readily access the required paperwork, and then has to navigate other government and non-government support services, repeatedly explaining their situation.
This can all cause financial distress and potentially influence a person to return to an abusive situation as they don’t have the financial means to survive independently. On average women will leave abusers seven times before leaving for good.
DHS is looking for a secure and scalable technological solution that will enable people experiencing family and domestic violence to access support quickly through an innovative digital solution – this may include secure identity verification and/or storage of a person’s historical personal documents e.g. medical, police, personal action plans. The solution needs to be able to securely share this information between trusted government and non-government organisations, to enable quick access to support for people in highly vulnerable circumstances.
The solution should:
- have a high degree of information security and comply with relevant security standards
- enable verification of a person’s identity and/or storage of a person’s historical personal documents
- be able to provide confirmation of document status in line with DHS policy as the department’s current process requires that documents are originals, complete and accurate
- reduce the time and complexity of completing a claim and navigating the service system for customers e.g. different tiers of government and non-government agencies and service providers
- be available/work across various digital channels, e.g. mobile phone, tablet, PC to facilitate access to relevant information
- include an audit log function
- not increase administrative workload
- consider current platforms used by government and non-government entities to store and share this kind of information
- be scalable across government and non-government organisations and providers, such as government, medical, police.
Expected deliverable at the end of the proof of concept is a working prototype of the solution that can be trialled with a pilot group of customers. A solution should also have scope for private commercialisation on a national or global scale.
To be eligible you must:
- have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
- and be one of the following entities:
- a company, incorporated in Australia
- an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
- an individual or partnership, provided you agree to form a company incorporated in Australia to enter into a grant agreement
- and have a turnover of less than $20 million for each of the last three years. This includes the turnover of any related bodies corporate. If an Australian university or public sector research organisation controls your company, your turnover must be less than $20 million for each of the last three years. Newly established companies are welcome to apply.
You are not eligible to apply if you are:
- an income tax exempt corporation
- an individual or partnership (however, an individual or partnership may apply if they agree to form an eligible corporation before signing a grant agreement)
- a trust (however, a corporation that is a corporate trustee may apply on behalf of a trust)
- a Commonwealth, state or local government agency or body (including government business enterprises).
Terms and Conditions
For complete details on the terms and conditions that govern the Fast and secure digital identity verification for people experiencing family and domestic violence challenge please refer to the website.