In other public sector ICT and digital news for August 24
Audit Office unhappy with vaccine ICT outsourcing
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has released a report on Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, finding that the Department of Health did not properly undertake assurance of data collection practices and IT controls for outsourced systems underpinning the roll-out.
The Auditor-General recommended that the department should regularly obtain and review assurance of data quality and IT security, privacy and confidentiality controls when using third-party providers. Third parties involved in the roll-out were:
- Services Australia – Australian Immunisation Register (AIR)
- Salesforce – Vaccine Administration System (VAS)/COVID-19 Vaccine Administration System (CVAS)
- Accenture – reporting dashboards
- AWS - CVAS
Albanese Government: Focusing on Skills
The federal government has pledged up to $485.5 million over the next four years to support 20,000 university places to address skills shortages. Targeted areas include engineering and technology alongside education and health. Universities will be required to prioritise placement of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Seeking Feedback on Critical Technologies
Following a series of industry round tables last week, Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic announced that the government is seeking feedback on the 2022 List of Critical Technologies in the National Interest, which will form the basis of a $1 billion funding package.
Data and Digital Ministers’ Meeting
It has been five months since the last interjurisdictional Data and Digital Ministers’ Meeting (DDMM).
At their most recent get-together on 25 March 2022, ministers agreed to “actively explore” the adoption of a national digital identity ecosystem and responded to a request for advice on developing consistent data collection on house rebuilding after a natural disaster. The meeting also included the six-monthly review of the National Data Sharing Work Program, which commenced in August 2021.
In addition to a change of guard at the Commonwealth (Bill Shorten is the presumptive chair), there will be three new ministers at the next meeting, after elections and reshuffles: Ngaree Ah Kit (NT), Madeleine Ogilvie (TAS), and Susan Close (SA).
Global telco election
Minister for Communications Michelle Rowlands has reaffirmed Australia will run for reelection to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Council – Asia and Australasia Region at this year’s Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-22) in Romania in September. The ITU is the oldest UN agency, predated the UN by 80 years and is headquartered in Geneva.
State by State
Tasmania seeking body scanners
Tasmania is on the hunt for body scanners at correctional facilities across the state. Tenders close on 30 September 2022, with a contract expected to be in place by November 2022. The 2021-22 state budget allocated $1.3 million to introduce the technology into several prisons.
NSW extends fee-free digital skills training
The NSW Government will extend its support for fee-free courses through to July 2023. The free course for eligible job seekers include: Cert II in Applied Digital Technologies, Cert IV in Telco Engineering Technology, and Cert IV, Diploma, and Advanced Diploma in Information Technology.
UK Inflation and labour market
The official inflation rate in the UK has cracked 10.1%, a forty year high, outpacing forecasts, and is expected to climb further before the end of the year. The biggest jumps were still in the cost of gas, electricity and fuels. The Bank of England is expected to lift interest rates from 1.75% to 3.5-4%.
Tanzania: the internet reaches Mount Kilimanjaro
The state-owned Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation set up a broadband network on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, at an altitude of 3,720 metres. Tanzanian Minister of Information, Communication & ICT Nape Nnauye says connectivity will also improve safety of porters and visitors (and allow climbers to share their ascents on social media). Coverage is expected to reach the summit of the 5,895-metre mountain by the end of the year