GovTech Weekly News Wrap – 29 October, 2020

Weekly news wrap of government technology

Home Affairs seeks developer partners to build its recently announced reusable permissions capability platform; ABS launches public pilot of its digital census; and Tasmania’s critical tech infrastructure faces fierce scrutiny in state audit.

  • The Federal Government has announced the appointment of its advisory panel to implement its 2020 Cyber Security Strategy.


  • Isentia, a media-monitoring and analytics firm used by a number of Federal Government agencies and departments, has been hit by a cyberattack, prompting the involvement of Australian Cyber Security Centre.


  • The Department of Home Affairs has commenced the search for developers to help build its new reusable permissions capability platform, the creation of which was announced just last week. The platform will manage digital passenger declarations and simple visa processing from late 2021.


  • The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has, according to a recent report, selected Adobe, through its global partner Deloitte, to work on the Federal Government’s GovDXP project – a major social network-inspired overhaul of the myGov platform. The move defies longstanding calls within the DTA urging departments and agencies to use the existing open source GovCMS in order to standardise website software across Government.


  • Tasmania’s critical systems management has come under fire in a recent review by the state’s auditor general. The Tasmanian Audit Office found the state’s technology systems remain at risk due to poor long-term IT planning and a lack of coordinated investment and implementation.


  • Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has revealed two incidents that compromised My Health Record during the 2019-20 financial year. The incidents, reported to the OAIC, involved a breach of the external IT infrastructure that supports the My Health Record System; however, the ADHA stressed that no health information was stolen. 


  • The ACCC has released its latest Digital Platform Services Inquiry report outlining the “extensively tracking” of users’ online activity by large digital platforms, including Facebook and Google.


  • The Australian Bureau of Statistics will commence the first public test of the 2021 digital census in preparation for the platform’s rollout next year. 100,000 households are expected to take part in the pilot.


  • The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) will roll out digital prescriptions across Sydney this month following the successful implementation of the service throughout Victoria.


  • New research commissioned by MicroFocus suggests that as many as one in four Australian Government agencies does not have an approved digital transformation strategy.


  • A Canberra-based SME, Kord Defence has been awarded a $3.4 million contract by the Department of Defence. The deal will see Kord deliver upgrades to front-line support systems to improve on-field situational awareness. It is Kord’s second contract through the Defence Innovation Hub.


  • The NSW Government has announced it has migrated all active registered Government suppliers to its new buy.nsw Supplier Hub.


  • CSIRO partner, Ceres Tag, is upgrading its “world-first” smart ear tags livestock tracking technology. The ear tags use satellite data to monitor cattle behaviour, location, and interactions.



  • Researchers from the Optus Macquarie Cyber Security Hub have reported that the majority of Australian Government websites contain many pages which may be vulnerable to cyber-attack.


  • The Federal Government has announced a $2.4 million investment to nurture South Australia’s AgTech sector. Part of the funding will go towards several new regional AgTech demonstration farms and start-up hubs to support tech adoption by SA’s primary producers.


  • The Western Australian Government has launched a new digital tool providing training pathways and jobs assistance in the resources sector.


  • The Department of Industry has secured a Memorandum of Understanding with Singapore to further advance the development of low-emissions technologies.


  • The NSW Government has launched a new online portal for liquor businesses which promises to “slash” red tape and provide a “one-stop-shop” for licenced businesses. The portal will enable businesses to access a “comprehensive list of all liquor licences [they] hold”, conduct online payments on hundreds of liquor licences in bulk and modify licences as needed without paper applications.


  • The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has released guidance on digital defence as a part of Australian Cyber Week, providing tips on resisting phishing and ransomware attacks.


  • The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has announced finalists for the Australian Government Digital Awards 2020. Winners will be announced in November, as part of the Australian Digital Summit 2020.


  • The Tasmanian Government has hailed the recently-released Australian Digital Inclusion Index 2020, which shows the state’s digital inclusion score increasing from 58.1 per cent in 2019 to 59.6 per cent in 2020.


  • The Northern Territory Government has launched a new “MVR for Business” portal, which will help businesses access vehicle registration transactions without a visit to an MVR office or police outstation.


  • The ACCC’s Scamwatch service has released its latest figures, revealing young people are reporting the highest losses to threat-based scams. The scams are predominantly phone-based, with scammers impersonating “various officials, such as police, ATO officers or government investigators”. People under 24 have lost $4.1 million in total to scams so far this year.


  • A new study by Juniper Research has found that the number of digital identity apps in use will exceed 6.2 million by 2025, with government-issued identities within apps accounting for almost 90 per cent of these digital identity apps.



  • The Australian Government is inviting consultation on its $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy. The consultation will inform the development of road maps for the National Manufacturing Priorities.