GovTech Weekly News Wrap – 6 November, 2020

Weekly news wrap of government technology

Federal Government commences review and consultation into Privacy Act changes and AI; Service Victoria seeks new operator for all-in-one service platform; and ACSC certifies Oracle to handle government data up to protected level.

  • The Federal Government has commenced a review of the Privacy Act 1988, opening a public consultation into proposed changes and discussion points flagged in an issues paper. The review was announced as part of the Government’s response to the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry. Submissions can be made until 29 November 2020.


  • Research from Gartner has revealed IT spending in Australia will increase by 3.6 per cent in 2021, pushing total IT spend across the country to almost $96 billion. This comes off the back of a predicted decline of 2.8 per cent this year. Government spending is set to jump 4.7 per cent next year to $13.2 billion.



  • Oracle’s SaaS suite has secured certification under the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) Information Security Registered Assessors Program, permitting it to handle government data up to the protected level. The certification will allow Oracle to provide its key applications, running on its cloud infrastructure in Sydney and Melbourne data centre regions, to Federal Government departments.


  • ServiceWA has commenced a trial of a new all-in-one customer service centre, including services for the Departments of Transport, Justice, Communities, Primary Industries and Regional Development and the Western Australia Police Force.


  • The DTA is offering all Australian public sector staff training in Microsoft 365 Fundamentals. The course is designed for individuals supporting the deployment and management of cloud services within agencies. The one-day course is instructor-led and takes place virtually on Friday 13 November 2020.


  • Seven Tasmanian Government departments will transition their financial systems to TechnologyOne’s cloud platform by 2022, in a move that promises to boost the state’s cyber resiliency.


  • Service Victoria is seeking a new operator for its new one-stop-shop Service Victoria platform, which will handle a range of services including drivers licences renewals and registers for births, deaths and marriages.


  • The Federal Government is welcoming input on a discussion paper on the use of AI, creating “clear, common vision” for the technology’s use in Australia.


  • The Australian and South Australian Governments have partnered with South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA) to purchase virtual reality training programs to help train heavy vehicle operators and improve road safety.


  • The Federal Government has announced a $2 million funding boost for the development of WA’s first trackless train line.


  • NBN Co will begin an upgrade of more than 100,000 premises in areas currently serviced by Fibre to the Node (FTTN) technology.


  • The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has granted IBM a three-year contract worth $107 million to support the development of the agency’s Standard Business Reporting (SBR) platform, which facilitates communication with businesses and the agency.


  • The Labor opposition has questioned the effectiveness of the COVIDSafe app, which has so far identified just 17 new close Covid contacts in NSW and zero contacts in other states or territories, despite the devastating second wave hitting Victoria.


  • The NSW Government has announced the launch of QR code check-in feature for taxis on its Service NSW app. The service automatically captures the date, time and location of the check-in for contract tracing in the event of a Covid outbreak.


  • ANZ Bank is reportedly providing transactional data to the NSW Government as part of the multi-million dollar deal between the bank and state government through its Data Analytics Centre. The de-identified data is currently being used to assist in understanding the impacts of the coronavirus on the economy.


  • The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has announced an updated offering for its Coaching for Women in Digital Program, lowering the admission price due to “overwhelming” interest.


  • The Federal Government is encouraging businesses to take part in NASA’s Moon to Mars program, with the announcement of Demonstrator Feasibility grants supporting businesses and researchers in determining the viability of their projects.


  • The NSW Government has selected four research partners to help explore the “future of work”, identifying emerging health and safety risks in the workforce.


  • The Department of Industry, Science and Technology has announced a new initiative called Future You, to encourage education for girls around the career possibilities of STEM and increase participation.