GovTech Weekly News Wrap – 16 October, 2020

Weekly news wrap of government technology

The ATO and Electoral Commission put call out to industry to help deliver massive tech upgrades; and investigation finds the OAIC may be “severely underfunded” and unable to properly perform its duties after missing nearly all of its performance goals.

  • The Australian Capital Territory has become the first jurisdiction to “push back” against the Federal Government’s national facial recognition database, refusing to hand over drivers licence data until legislation is passed.


  • An investigation has found the OAIC, Australia’s chief information privacy regulator, may be “severely underfunded” and unable to perform its role effectively without a substantial resourcing boost.



  • The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has wasted no time in making use of its $96.7 million allocation from the 2020 Budget, announcing in a pre-release tender notice that it will commence the search for providers to help deliver the first phase of its core IT systems overhaul – the ‘Indigo Program’. The new comprehensive modernisation program will look to deliver systems integration, enterprise integration, enterprise service management, business process management, and supply chain management “at high-level capabilities”.


  • New South Wales’ National Parks and Wildlife service has revealed it has made significant use of drones to assist the state Government in assessing damage from last year’s devastating bushfire season, providing, it says, a cost-effective and efficient way to collect data.


  • A recent survey conducted by UNSW Canberra has found Australia’s public service workforce had an “overwhelmingly positive experience” working from home during the Covid, with over 90 per cent stating they were able to maintain or improve productivity while working remotely.





  • The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has published advice to help detect and avoid scammers when purchasing tickets online for events.


  • The National Capital Authority (NCA), Canberra’s planning and development agency, has released a new app allowing motorists to pay for parking and extend parking time without needing to return to their cars.


  • Legislation has been introduced into New South Wales Parliament to provide further protections for victims of “revenge porn”, that is, the distribution of non-consensual intimate images and videos online.


  • The WA Government is launching WA’s first “Whole of System” plan providing a 20-year outlook on the future of the state’s electricity network. WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston said the plan will “play an integral part in the State’s transition towards a low carbon future”.


  • The Australian Government will invest $2 billion in an NBN Co plan to improve regional connectivity across Australia, with the aim of providing approximately 950,000 homes and businesses access to ultra-fast broadband.


  • The Australian Digital Health Agency (DHA) has posted a new warning urging individuals to be wary of scammers impersonating the DHA and requesting personal information.


  • The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)’s MRRT fleet will receive an upgrade from European giant Airbus, including new and additional Communications Capabilities and Enhanced Mission Systems.


  • The Australian Space Agency is among first to participate in the signing of the Artemis Accords, a set of principles that promote the “sustainable and beneficial use of space”.