The controversial and much-criticised Digital Passenger Declaration app will be prematurely retired this week, with the Australian Government admitting “it needs a lot more work to make it user friendly.”
Introduced in February 2022, the app has been roundly slammed by travellers for its poor functionality and woeful unfriendly user experience.
This is despite an estimated $75m price tag for tech giant Accenture to develop the app, which was intended to replace the incoming passenger card, although that slip of paper has since remained in use.
Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil says her department has "listened to feedback about the DPD.”
“While in time it will replace the paper based incoming passenger card, it needs a lot more work to make it user friendly.”
Travellers entering Australia from 12.01am on Wednesday 6 July 2022 will no longer need to submit a Digital Passenger Declaration, O’Neil said.
“This is great news for families coming home from school holidays who now don’t need to use the DPD.”
The same date also sees unvaccinated travellers able to freely enter Australia and not declare their Covid-19 vaccination status, in line with changes to the national Biosecurity Act.
In addition to collecting standard passenger data, the Digital Passenger Declaration was also used to determine vaccination status, using Australian Covid-19 international vaccination certificates and other foreign vaccination certificates.
However, the grand plan for the underlying digital platform was to eventually include visas, import permits, licences, registrations and other government-issued documents as a single smartphone and PC-based ‘super app’.