Must-know ICT and government terminology

A glossary of information and communication technology (ICT) and public sector terms to help suppliers more credibly engage with government.

Term Definition

The process of ensuring that ICT systems, products, and services meet specified requirements, standards, and performance criteria. Assurance activities typically include testing, verification, validation, and auditing to ensure that ICT systems and services are reliable, secure, and perform as intended. Assurance activities can be conducted by internal teams, external auditors, or third-party organisations, and they often involve the use of specialised tools and techniques to identify and mitigate risks.


A person who has registered and is present at an Intermedium seminar or event in person or virtually. This person may be a professional from the ICT industry, a researcher, an analyst, or a government employee.


The Minister responsible for legal affairs and chief law officer of the jurisdiction. The role of the Attorney-General is to advise the government on legal matters, including constitutional and international law, and to oversee the administration of justice.

Audio Visual

The technology, equipment, and materials used to produce and display audio and visual content, such as videos, films, presentations, and live performances. Audiovisual technology includes devices such as cameras, microphones, projectors, speakers, and video conferencing systems.

Audit and Compliance

The assessment and evaluation of an organisation's systems and processes to ensure that they comply with relevant laws, regulations, and standards. Audit and compliance activities may include reviewing and testing controls, assessing risk management practices, conducting security assessments, and identifying gaps in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. The goal of audit and compliance activities is to ensure that an organisation's systems and processes are secure, reliable, and meet legal and regulatory requirements.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are technologies that enable users to experience digital content in immersive ways. Augmented reality overlays digital information onto the real world, while virtual reality creates a completely simulated environment.


The process of verifying the identity of a user or system. Authentication typically involves the use of credentials, such as usernames and passwords, to verify a user's identity. Other authentication methods may include biometric authentication, such as fingerprint or facial recognition, or two-factor authentication, which requires users to provide two forms of identification, such as a password and a security token.


A government body, which may be established by legislation or executive action to exercise specific powers or duties related to the delivery of government services or the implementation of government policies. Authorities may be independent or linked to a larger government department or agency, and may have a board or other governance structure to oversee their operations. The authority may have the power to issue licences, permits, or other authorisations, and may be responsible for enforcing regulations and prosecuting violations of the law.

Back-office agency

An agency that primarily deals with administrative matters or policy generation. These tend to have much lower staff headcounts than service-delivery centric agencies, and correspondingly also have lower overall annual budgets. However, the nature of their function means that a larger portion of that budget is likely to be spent on ICT. Generally speaking, governments will attempt to minimise the cost of their back-office functions to the best of their ability in order to free up funds that can be invested in service-delivery functions, and as a result back-office agencies are often the targets of efficiency dividends and other cost-cutting measures.

Below Senior Executive Service Level

A public sector employee who is below the Senior Executive Service (SES) level. The SES is the highest level of the Australian Public Service (APS). SES level positions are senior leadership roles in the APS, responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership to government agencies.