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In other government ICT and digital news, 12 April 2023

by Cameron Sinclair •
Free resource


Budget season is upon us, with 9 of the 10 ANZ jurisdictions slated to release their plans for the upcoming 2023-24 financial year in May and June, while the newly-elected government in NSW likely to take a few more months to release theirs. Below is our sweep of the 2022-23 budget delivery dates


Australian Public Service Commissioner (APSC) Peter Woolcott has retired just months shy of his five-year tenure ending. Minister Katy Gallagher confirms a merit-based recruitment process is underway to find his replacement. In her first major speech on the public service last October, she confirmed that the APSC would be the first agency to undergo a ‘capability review.’ 

The Department of Defence is conducting a periodic panel refresh to give IT and telco providers the chance to join its Information Communications Technology Provider Arrangement (ICTPA) panel. 

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has released a report on the effectiveness of "procurement complaints handling,” finding that they are largely effective," but that at least 89 per cent of contracts reported on AusTender over a three-year period (62 per cent by value) did not have access to a complaint mechanism for most procurements. 

There are rumours of a possible date for the Indigenous Voice referendum on Saturday 14 October, which is coincidentally, the same date as the NZ election. No word on whether the AEC will have its digital election day reporting systems in place by then. It was allocated an additional $59.8 million in the current financial year (and $6.5 million in 2023-24) in the October Budget update for ‘preparatory work’ for the referendum. 


It has not been a great couple of weeks for data security in Tasmania with around 16,000 financial invoices and statements issued by the Department of Education exposed in the GoAnywhere breach. The government issued an update on Friday confirming CyberCX has been bought in to assist with investigations; and another on Saturday confirming it was trying to contact people known to be affected. 

The South Australian government has found itself in the unusual position of issuing an anti-scam media release to warn renters that the state’s Customer and Business Service (CBS) is legitimately contacting people via text and email to advise them that there may be an unclaimed bond in their name. 

Residents of sparsely-populated East Gippsland will be able to reap the benefits of mixed-reality virtual care, following the completion of a trial of Microsoft HoloLens headsets in rural health centres. Previously used in the military, construction and video gaming, the headset is worn by a nurse examining a patient and guided virtually by a doctor in a separate location. It allows a specialist to use a range of inbuilt overlays such as mapping technology to trace the extent of a wound, assess how an infection or injury is healing and draw virtual diagrams. 

The Queensland government is also backing VR, with $5.7 million for a VR training lab at the Resources Centre of Excellence in Mackay. 

The WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) has issued a Request for Information, seeking responses for a Compliance and Regulation System (CARS) solution manage its legislative and regulatory obligations. The tender closes on 2 May. DMIRS received $9.25 million over four years for Workplace Health and Safety system modernisation in last year’s 2022-23 state budget

And while we are in WA, residents of Exmouth, 12 hours north of Perth, will be hoping for clear skies at approximately 11:27am next Thursday 20 April to view the Ningaloo Total Solar Eclipse, when the sun, moon, and earth will all align for a “significant 1 minute, 16 second event” that got $1.5 million in WA’s December 2021 Mid-Year Update


The global PC market has contracted, with shipments falling by almost 30% during the first quarter of 2023 due to weak demand, excess inventory, and a worsening macroeconomic climate according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) worldwide quarterly personal computing device tracker.  

It has been a while since we turned our attention to space ship launches. SpaceX’s largest and most powerful rocket, the Starship, is scheduled to lift off on its first orbital test flight on 17 April, with 18 and 22 April assigned as backups. 

From the USA: a federal lawsuit against e-cigarette manufacturers has resulted in a cash windfall for school districts that will likely be spent on vape detectors in school bathrooms and other anti-vaping measures. Vape detectors are already in use at some schools in Australia, while the NSW Labor Government is promising to install the technology at public schools across the state. Vape detection is more costly than traditional smoke alarms, utilising machine learning and integration with wider digital security and control systems. 

In case you missed this viral story from London, Metropolitan Police confirm that 90.864 mobile phones were reported stolen in 2022, or an average of 248 each day, or one every 6 minutes. No word on how many were government issued devices. 

While we await the release of the Defence Strategic Review (DSR) and any news at all on the establishment of an Australian Strategic Research Agency (ASRA), which has not been mentioned in parliament since November, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has declined an invitation to attend the next NATO summit in Lithuania in July. 

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