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In Other Government ICT and Digital News, 9 August 2023

by Jack Le Guay •
Free resource


The ongoing media and political furore concerning the use of consultants in the public sector has now implicated KPMG in unethical procurement conduct. The ABC’s Four Corners program aired the claims of two whistleblowers, alleging that the Netherlands-based multinational had been systemically overcharging the Department of Defence, noting the close relationship between senior Defence staff and consultancy partners. Intermedium’s AnalyseIT tool reveals that the consultancy has posted a total contract value of $720 million with Defence since 2020-21, the fourth highest of all digital and ICT suppliers to the Department, well above Accenture ($324 million) and Deloitte ($228 million) over the same period.

The Australian Labor Party’s 49th National Conference will be held next week (17th-19th August) where the party will ratify a new National Policy Platform. A draft platform is available online. The proposed policy position on generative AI will be particularly interesting to readers, which supports retraining and skills development for workers impacted by the technology and the creation of governance measures to protect society from “known and emerging risks associated with AI”. The SMH reports that the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) is pushing for a body that includes worker and union representatives to “manage” the changes AI and automation may bring.


The Queensland government will make data management and reporting improvements to its social housing register, complementing a $5 billion social and affordable housing build project. The decision responds to recommendations from a July 2022 audit that found that the government had no central means of prioritising urgent social housing applications and lacked consistency in assessing and recording applications.

The WA government has ticked off one of their Digital Strategy initiatives on time, launching the PeopleWA single linked data portal. PeopleWA combines 75 million de-identified current and archived documents from a range of agencies in Justice, Communities, Health and Education. The project was funded to the tune of $8 million from the state’s Digital Capability Fund and is compliant with proposed privacy legislation. The portal, managed by the Department of Health and the Office of Digital Government, will be available to approved agencies, researchers, and non-profits.


The controversial Digital Personal Data Protection Bill was reintroduced to India’s lower house, following its withdrawal last year and ensuing consultations over concerns that it could be misused by the government. The Bill is intended to establish data privacy protections for Indian citizens in the manner of overseas legislation such as the EU’s General Data Protection Requirement (GDPR).

The UK Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee has released a report on the benefits and harms of smart and wearable technology. Connected tech: smart or sinister? recommends greater protection of child data privacy rights amid increasing use at school and home. The chair also noted the rise of ‘tech abuse’, finding that most domestic abuse cases now feature “some sort of cyber element” from the use of spyware to monitoring movements through smart and other location-enabled devices. The UK government has two months to respond to the committee’s recommendations.

Generative AI continues to turn heads and cause controversy in almost all sectors of society. Jane Friedman, a reporter on the publishing industry has revealed “about half a dozen” AI-generated books have been listed on Amazon and review site Goodreads under her name. The process to remove the books is often longwinded, requiring authors to report individual fraudulent publications.

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