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Minister releases Australian Government frameworks on smartcards, authentication and public service ID management.

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Special Minister of State

Media Release

10/2006 29 June 2006

Minister releases Australian Government Frameworks on Smartcards, Authentication and Public Service ID Management

The Special Minister of State, The Hon Gary Nairn, speaking today at the Australian Smart Cards Summit 2006, released a number of major documents relating to authentication and security in government.

“The range of documents I have launched here today - the Australian Government Smartcard Framework, the AGAF for Individuals: Overview and Principles, and the first five elements of IMAGE - all represent significant commitments on behalf of the government towards improving the way we conduct business” Minister Nairn said.

1. Smartcard Framework

Minister Nairn said that the Australian Government was releasing the first two parts of the Smartcard Framework, the ‘Overview and Principles’ document, and the ‘Smartcard Handbook’, which has been designed as an educational tool on smartcards. Minister Nairn

also announced the release of a third part of the framework for comment, the ‘Standards and Model Specification’.

“The vision for the Smartcard Framework is to ensure that government adopts a consistent and interoperable approach to the use of smartcard technology,” Minister Nairn said.

"It is important to note that AGIMO began work on the Smartcard Framework prior to the Government decision on the Health and Social Services Access Card. The Government decision on the permitted use, scope and limitations of the Access card bound its use.

“Importantly, the framework will assist agencies to utilise smartcard technology so that personal information can be appropriately secured and partitioned from other information on the smartcard.”

2. Australian Government e-Authentication Framework (AGAF) for Individuals

Minister Nairn also released the ‘Overview and Principles’ section of the Australian Government e-Authentication Framework (AGAF) for Individuals. AGAF(I) deals with the full range of issues associated with people logging onto e-Government websites - a key part of the e-Government strategy.

“This document is the first element in a framework that will provide guidance to agencies whose online services require authentication of an individual’s identity,” Minister Nairn said.

3. Identity Management for Government Employees Framework (IMAGE)

In addition to the Smartcard Framework and AGAF, Minister Nairn released the key elements of the IMAGE framework, which pertains to identity management of Australian Public Service employees.

“The purpose of IMAGE is to standardise identity management policies and practices for employees and contractors in the public sector and it will provide, in the longer term, capability for enhanced interoperability across the Australian Government,” Minister Nairn said.

“IMAGE envisages that a smartcard will be a key element of the solution, providing both evidence of identity and access control, and the Smartcard Framework will clearly be a key reference document as the specifications for the IMAGE card are defined. This will be a different smartcard to the Health and Social Services Card - the key point is that the Smartcard Framework is broader than just the Access card and can deal with more than one card.

The release of these three documents is a key component of the implementation of the 2006 e-Government Strategy, which I released in March this year. In particular, the Smartcard Framework and AGAF for Individuals are key components of the government’s roadmap for e-government in Australia.”

More information about the frameworks and consultation process is available online at


Media Enquiries: Mr Nairn's Office - Megan Magill 02 6277 7600 or 0417 836 952