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In other government ICT and digital news, 18 April 2023

by Cameron Sinclair •
Free resource


Home Affairs has scrapped its controversial Permissions Platform and the incoming NSW Government has announced it will delay the release of its first full budget by three months to September, split up the Department of Premier and Cabinet, and sack three public service chiefs. More changes are expected by 1 July as new ministers get their feet under their desks. A reminder that due to Anzac Day next Tuesday, our newsletter will be delayed until Thursday 27th next week.


We are three weeks out from the Federal Budget on Tuesday 9 May, which will kick off a two month long ‘Budget Season.’ Most of the remaining budget decisions will be finalised this week before the documents get sent off to printers. 

Commonwealth ministers are carefully preparing journalists and the public to minimise surprises. Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Minister for Government Services Bill Shorten delivered back-to-back speeches at the Press Club this week and Health Minister Mark Butler is scheduled to appear on 2 May. 

Treasurer Jim Chalmers has warned that Australia can expect “incredibly weak” economic growth over the next five years, but that the Budget will contain a "substantial investment" in clean energy. 

One of the country’s most experienced former public servants, Dr Ian Watt, has urged a parliamentary inquiry to recommend sweeping changes to the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs). Earlier this year, Watt conducted an independent review of allegations of impropriety in several ICT procurements at Services Australia. The inquiry is being conducted by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Accounts and Audit (PJCAA) following a recent number of damning audits of Commonwealth procurement practices.  

The ACCC has released its latest Targeting Scams Report, revealing Australians lost $3.1 billion to scams in 2022, an 80% increase from a year earlier. 

Liberal Senator James Paterson has been named as the opposition’s new Shadow Minister for Home Affairs, replacing Karen Andrews who has resigned from the front bench. Paterson will continue to have responsibility for Shadowing Minister Clare O’Neill in the cyber security portfolio. 

While the Australian tech sector awaits the release of both the Defence Strategic Review (DSR) and further information on Pillar Two of the AUKUS agreement, we note that the PM has an intense international travel schedule over the upcoming weeks: 

  • Coronation of King Charles III, London, Saturday 6 May 
  • Invited to G7 summit, Hiroshima, 19-21 May 
  • Quad Leaders Dialogue, Sydney, 23-24 May 
  • Keynote address at Shangri-La Dialogue, Singapore, 10–12 June. 

He appears to have changed his tune on attending the NATO summit in Lithuania over 11-12 July, saying he “will give it consideration,” and “subject to logistical arrangements, then I would be very pleased to accept the invitation.” 


Other than the flurry of activity in NSW, and an update from Tasmania regarding the GoAnywhere breach, it has been a very quiet week for digital announcements. 

We suspect that this is a combination of both school holidays (ACT, NSW, SA, TAS, VIC, and WA) and budget preparations. 


The US Ambassador at Large for Cyberspace and Digital Policy Nathaniel Fick has revealed plans to place a trained cyber and digital officer into ‘every embassy’ around the world by the end of 2024. In addition to boosting technical competence across the diplomatic network, the move will also establish a clear pathway for people with cyber and digital skills into the many senior leadership roles in the US foreign service. 

EY is reversing its plan to split its consulting and auditing businesses after months of internal disagreement and opposition from executives in the US, according to the Financial Times. Project Everest was scrapped after months of internal disagreement.

A story that is doing the rounds online in the UK, His Majesty’s Treasury advertised for a position as the Head of Cyber Security, a mid-senior level role, with a salary band of up to £57k (AU$105k, or the equivalent of EL1 in the Australian Public Service), triggering banter such as “You’ll be managing consultants on £200k a year.” For comparison, the Director of Cyber Security at the Australian Department of the Treasury is an EL2 (AU$146-$167k).

SpaceX postponed the Starship rocket launch due to a ‘frozen valve.'

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