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In other government ICT and digital news, 11 October 2022

by Staff Writers •
Free resource


A series of events over the next month will provide us with the first strong signals about the new Cabinet’s ICT spending priorities. In two weeks, Treasurer Jim Chalmers releases his revised 2022-23 Budget (25 October), this will be followed by the release of all Federal agencies’ 2021-22 annual reports and the Albanese Government’s first round of Senate Estimates (28 October to 10 November).

As the fallout from Optus data breach enters its fourth week, two regulators have announced investigations into the incident. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) will focus on whether reasonable steps were taken to protect personal information. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will consider whether it met similar obligations as a telecommunications provider. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) moved swiftly to arrest a Sydney man for allegedly attempting to scam victims of the breach, but noted the investigation into the alleged offender responsible for the breach was continuing.

Finance Minister Katy Gallagher confirmed that Federal public servants will receive a minimum 3% pay rise, fulfilling a commitment to overturn the Morrison Government’s decision to link public sector pay increases to the wage price index (2.6% in the June quarter). The ACT has the lowest unemployment rate in the country, 2.7%.

The Parliamentary Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (PJCPAA) has opened a new inquiry looking at Commonwealth procurement practices, focusing on five recent ANAO reports, including one that was particularly scathing of the DTA.

The winking mandarin Stephanie Foster has moved from Deputy Secretary for Governance and APS Reform at PM&C to a new role as the Assistant Secretary for Immigration Network Operations and Governance at Home Affairs. The government has inherited a backlog of almost a million visa applications and an 11 year old visa processing platform and needs to decide whether they will continue with the much vaunted Permissions Platform, or go to market in search of an alternative solution. Secretary for Home Affairs Mike Pezzullo is expected to complete his five-year term at the end of the year.



Queensland: Encouraging Indigenous Procurement Partnerships The Queensland Government has designated October ‘Indigenous Business Month’ to encourage First Nations businesses to connect and explore procurement opportunities.

NT: Green Energy Announcements The Territory government has launched a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) trial in Alice Springs. About 50 participants, mostly residential energy customers with rooftop solar, are involved in the battery aggregation (energy sharing) pilot to test the economic and energy efficiency of a smart technology to control energy flow on power grids. Also, former Chief Minister Michael Gunner, who stepped down six months ago, has announced that he has accepted a new role with Fortescue Future Industries, known as FFI, leading their green energy operations from Darwin. He will start the new role at the end of the year. He joins former RBA Deputy Governor Dr Guy Debelle at FFI.

WA: City-Airport Link Opens While not strictly ICT news, the new Perth Metronet train line opened on Sunday, connecting Perth Airport to the city, making use of the automatic train control (ATC) systems that were funded from 2018-19.



India to develop Digital Currency Hot on the heels of last week’s digital currency news (about Kim Kardashian and Australia’s Reserve Bank), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released a concept paper outlining plans to pilot digital currency, the e-Rupee.

US blocks Chip exports to China The US has introduced sweeping export controls against China, including specific measures for semiconductor chips, to complicate efforts by Chinese companies to develop cutting-edge technologies with military applications.

UK delays data reforms The UK government will delay plans to introduce the Data Reform Bill. Speaking at the Tory party conference, Digital Secretary Michelle Donelan confirmed the proposed legislation to replace GDPR data rules would be put on hold.

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