Govtech News Wrap – 29 July, 2021

Weekly news wrap of government technology

NSW Government reveals members on new Digital Identity Advisory Committee; National Auditor-General casts doubt on effectiveness of annual cyber audit process; and Service NSW announces massive recruitment drive for engineers.

The nation’s Auditor-General Grant Hehir has cast doubt on the effectiveness of yearly cybersecurity audits of Federal Government agencies, with a trail of previous ANAO audits “continuing to find low compliance with cybersecurity requirements”. Annual audits were recommended last year by a parliamentary committee.

Hehir said the absence of “internal assurance mechanism[s] to assess the effectiveness of the [protective security policy framework’s] implementation by entities”, and a lack of “sufficient incentives or disincentives to drive improvements in performance”, would ultimately compromise the effectiveness of these audits.


– Service NSW is set to recruit more than 200 product engineers and designers, boosting the agency’s already formidable digital workforce.

Of the 205 new hires, 135 will be for engineers, split between 65 senior product engineers, 30 junior product engineers, 25 product engineers and 10 principal product engineers.

The remaining 70 hires will cover a range of design roles, including product design, content design and service designers.

Engineers and designers are expected to work in multi-disciplinary teams to manage Service NSW’s products, including the software and data that sit behind them.


The NSW Government’s 18-member Digital Identity Ministerial Advisory Council (DIMAC) has been unveiled, with the DIMAC hosting its first meeting on Tuesday.

The Council, led by Digital and Customer Services Minister Victor Dominello, includes a diverse mix of experts from industry, with a prominent showing from the finance and payments sector, as well as from academia and across the public sector.


– Australia Post is overhauling its event management platform in a bid to improve parcel tracking through its warehouses.

The new event cloud-native platform is being built on Google Cloud, utilising Google tools including Big Query, Looker, and Anthos. It replaces an ageing legacy platform that had been in place for “a number of years”.

The overhaul comes as AusPost experiences a surge in parcel shipments, with four out of five Australian households, or nine million households, making an online purchase at some point during 2020, chief information officer Munro Farmer notes.


The Department of Defence has launched a new tech platform and accompanying mobile app to support ADF members relocating for new job postings, partnering with Accenture and Pegasystems for the platform’s build.

Dubbed PostingConnect, the new platform is designed to give ADF members a single interface to manage their postings (including removals), communicate with logistics service providers, and allow family members to view posting developments.


The DTA has reportedly disabled public collaboration on GitHub for the Federal Government’s COVIDSafe app.

As reported by ZDNet, the DTA has transitioned the controversial app to “a ‘business as usual mode’, [streamlining] the channels for support and engagement with the community”.

The agency notes that “feedback and support channels for the COVIDSafe app [will] remain open via”.


The Data and Digital Ministers’ Meeting has called for legislation to enshrine privacy and consumer protections, and governance and oversights into law to support the expansion of digital identity.


The Digital Transformation Agency has released an update to its Protected Utility blueprint, incorporating the latest changes to the Information Security Manual (ISM), ‘hardening’ of  iOS 14, community feedback, and additional products coordinated through GitHub.

The Blueprint provides an optimal design for a secure modern desktop for government agencies based on the Microsoft 365 cloud platform.


The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner has found ride-share company Uber “interfered with the privacy of an estimated 1.2 million Australians”.

Commissioner Angeline Falk found the Uber companies failed to appropriately protect the personal data of Australian customers and drivers, which was accessed in a cyber attack in October and November 2016.


–The Queensland Government has released a new ‘Farm Check-In’ application as part of a wider on-farm biosecurity portal. The QR-code based app provides visitors to farms an online checklist to help them understand their general biosecurity obligation and identify biosecurity risks.

‘Farm Check-in includes links to educational videos and information on good biosecurity practices such as clean-down methods for clothing, vehicles and machinery.