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In other government ICT and digital news, 27 September 2022

by Cameron Sinclair •
Free resource

In Other Public Sector News for September 28

Senate inquiry into Big Tech

The Senate Economics Committee will conduct an inquiry into the power and influence that large overseas-based digital platforms have over Australian markets and public debate. The ‘Big Tech inquiry’ will focus on the so-called Big Five (Google, Amazon, Meta, Apple, and Microsoft) and was referred by the committee chair, Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg.

Beware of counterfeit Cisco

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has inserted three new controls into the Information Security Manual (ISM) to require IT buyers to check the authenticity of purchases. The change comes after US agencies were found to have bought and installed counterfeit Cisco networking equipment.

Optus data breach

Australia’s second-largest telco, Optus, suffered a massive data breach after being targeted in a cyber attack. The Minister for Communications noted that the breach was on an unprecedented scale and the ACCC issued a warning to customers to be on the lookout for scams. The event could speed up privacy and cyber security reforms, with the Minister for Home Affairs remarking on ABC’s 7.30 that both policy areas had fallen years behind.

Sydney wins bid to host Space symposium

The Space Industry Association of Australia is celebrating the announcement that Sydney has been chosen to host the world’s biggest space industry event, the 2025 International Astronautical Congress, beating out rival bids from Riyadh, Beijing, Bangkok and Istanbul.

New look, new tech for Australian Passports

DFAT is launching the new look R-series passport this month, with several basic security features getting an update, including the data chip. We have noted several contracts with DFAT relating to biometric technology and robotic process automation, and the post-COVID backlog for renewing passports once borders re-opened.

Australia ITU Delegation arrives in Romania

Australia’s delegation has arrived at the 2022 International Telecommunication Union (ITU)  Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-22) in Romania, seeking re-election to the ITU Council. The ITU is the United Nations’ ICT agency responsible for allocating global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, developing telco standards, and bringing connectivity to more of the world.



NSW all trade licences on app

The Service NSW app can now store the full suite of trade licences. In addition to the basic White Card, Tradesperson Certificates, and Contractor Licences, the app will also store digital High Risk Work Licence and Supervisor Qualifications.

Tasmania to build stadium precinct

Premier Jeremy Rockcliffe has announced the government will proceed to build a new arts, entertainment and sporting precinct (a 23,000 seat stadium) at Macquarie Point on the Hobart waterfront: only if AFL club presidents allow the state to have its own team (the 19th in the competition), and the federal government picks up half of the estimated $750 million cost.

NT seeks mobile services

The Department of Corporate and Digital Development is holding an industry briefing on 29 September for telco suppliers interested in a three-year mobile telephony services and equipment contract. The NT estimates the contract’s value to be between $10 and $30 million.

The other big Top End news is the return of the Laksa Festival.

SA opportunity for data scientists

SA’s Transport Analytics Directorate (TA) within the Department for Infrastructure and Transport needs up to 13 data scientists or personnel with data science-adjacent skillsets.



UK investigates Cloud market concentration

The UK Communications regulator, Ofcom, is launching a ‘market study’ into whether Google, AWS, and Microsoft have too much market share. The inquiry will also look at WhatsApp, Zoom and smart speakers.

US piloting online passport renewal

The US State Department is moving its online passport renewal program beyond the initial pilot phase and will soon allow its citizens to lodge applications over the internet. Australia has offered partial online renewal since 2017.

Artemis delayed again

For readers following NASA’s attempt to get a rocket to the moon for the first time in 50 years... we regret to inform you that the Artemis launch scheduled for 27 September was delayed (again), this time due to a tropical hurricane.

Hotel to have hand in Space Station design

Hilton Hotels has been named the official hotel partner for Voyager Space to work on the interior designs of its LEO satellite space station, scheduled to open in 2027.

Robots Replacing Fast Food Workers

Our favourite international story of the week, from the Washington Post, is on the rapid rise of robotic automation to address chronic labour shortages in the US fast food industry. Miso Robotics has developed robots with articulated arms, multiple cameras and machine learning technology to cook French fries, pour beverage orders, and make coffee. Maybe they will soon move up the value chain to begin processing passport applications?

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