Australia’s Data and Digital Ministers are pushing ahead with a national Digital ID system and a new identity resilience strategy, an Air Force commander is named the new national cyber security coordinator, and there are moves to overhaul national firearm registries. In other news, the ACT Budget has been released overnight, the PWC scandal rolls on, and WA is seeking ideas to improve its emergency alert system.
Our data team is working through each of the 2023-24 Budgets line-by-line for new ICT initiatives. We have now uploaded federal, QLD and VIC into Intermedium’s Budget IT platform.
The Simplified Trade System (STS) Taskforce hosted a summit in Melbourne on Monday 26 June in conjunction with the release of a second consultation paper seeking input on how to digitise trade to reduce time spent and paper used.
The parliamentary joint committee for public works has opened an inquiry into the Department of Defence’s procurement of an enhanced high frequency communications system. The local arm of British aerospace firm Babcock has signed on to the $1.96 billion project to upgrade long range communications equipment and facilities across Australia.
The fallout from the Medibank data breach continues with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) forcing the health insurer to set aside $250 million in capital while it completes security upgrades and in anticipation of further remediation (and several class action law suits).
The army conducted autonomous truck trials along 30km of Victorian highways earlier this month. The simulation saw four armoured personnel carriers (APC) in a follow-the-leader trial behind a human-operated truck for a resupply mission between Mangalore Airfield and the Puckapunyal Army Base. All vehicles carried crews on board in case of malfunction.
STATE BY STATE
The ACT Budget landed last night, the last jurisdiction in our line up (at least until NSW in September), and with only days to spare until the new financial year begins. We will publish our analysis ASAP.
The acting chief executive of PwC was hauled before a NSW parliamentary inquiry this week, fielding questions about whether the company was capable of conducting its government consulting work in an "ethical manner" as it continues to salvage the business.
In response to a spike in cases of odometer tampering, NSW has made a minor change to the ServiceNSW app to give car buyers free access "to the previous three annual odometer readings,” a tweak proposed by then-Minister Victor Dominello back in January. Prospective purchasers can already enter a licence plate number to verify a vehicle’s make, model, year, insurance and registration status.
Local tech firms and the WA emergency services sector have collaborated in a three-day hackathon in a push to make the state’s emergency alert system faster and more effective. Developers and data scientists descended on the WA Data Science Innovation Hub (WADSIH) to improve accuracy of warnings for those with hearing and vision impairments, develop auto-translation capabilities, and refine alert automation and location accuracy. The results will eventually be integrated into upgrades of the public-facing Emergency WA website.
Consultations continue for the new draft Digital India Bill, a sweeping effort to replace the country’s dated Information Technology Act 2000. The draft legislation covers a wide range of matters, but the delays are apparently down to whether social media platforms will be responsible for third party content (i.e. misinformation and factchecking). Digital India is the name of an umbrella scheme launched by PM Modi in 2015 to expand government digital services and internet access across the nation.
The White House launched a funding package to provide universal access to affordable high-speed broadband internet. Funding for the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program will help plug gaps in existing national coverage. The largest allocation, US$3.3 billion, will go to Texas, with the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean set to receive $27 million.
The UK National Health Service (NHS) is looking for Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs) to provide standardised data privacy and protection controls to systems data platforms. The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), run by New Zealander John Edwards, recently recommended organisations start using PETs to share personal information safely, securely and anonymously.