Linking information to location.
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- Geocoded Addressing
- Administrative Boundaries
- Place Names
- Land Parcel and PropertyRead more here. This story first appeared in Spatial Source. [post_title] => National spatial data sharing: 73 government agencies join forces [post_excerpt] => Linking information to location. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => national-data [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-11 09:16:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-10 23:16:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26869 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26860 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-04-10 16:51:12 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-10 06:51:12 [post_content] => A Commonwealth Ombudsman investigation into the Centrelink Robodebt fiasco has found the Department of Human Services (DHS) guilty of poor service delivery and inadequate planning but it has stopped short of condemning the automated debt collection push, saying it was no more inaccurate or unfair than the manual process. Acting Commonwealth Ombudsman Richard Glenn said that the online compliance intervention (OCI), which DHS launched in July 2016 and was expected to clawback up to $4 billion, could have been delivered and planned for better but that it was not fundamentally flawed. The OCI matched Tax Office employment data with Centrelink data and sent debt notices out when discrepancies were flagged. What went wrong The Ombudsman’s report said poor service delivery was ‘a recurring theme’ in many complaints he had received. “Customers had problems getting a clear explanation about the debt decision and the reasoning behind it,” Mr Glenn said in the report. He noted that the compliance helpline number was not included on the initial debt letters and was difficult to find online, resulting in long wait times because customers flooded general customer service lines instead. Once customers were through to a human being the response was not always helpful. “Service centre staff did not always have sufficient knowledge about how the OCI system works, highlighting a deficiency in DHS’ communication and training to staff.” The investigation concluded that DHS should have done better preparation before the scheme was rolled out and expanded, including speaking to staff and Centrelink customers. “The OCI is a complex automated system that was rolled out on a large scale within a relatively short timeframe. There will inevitably be problems with the rollout of a system of this scale," the report said. “In our view, many of the OCI’s implementation problems could have been mitigated through better project planning and risk management at the outset. This includes more rigorous user testing with customers and service delivery staff, a more incremental rollout, and better communication to staff and stakeholders.” Mr Glenn said DHS’ did not consult all the relevant external stakeholders during key project planning stages and after the full rollout of the OCI, which he said was reflected “by the extent of confusion and inaccuracy in public statements made by key non-government stakeholders, journalists and individuals”. Mr Glenn said there should have been more manual support available to customers when they had questions, once the OCI was in motion, particularly for those most vulnerable. “A key lesson for agencies and policy makers when proposing to rollout large scale measures which require people to engage in a new way with new digital channels, is for agencies to engage with stakeholders and provide resources for adequate manual support during transition periods. “Good public administration requires a transparent and open decision making process that clearly sets out the issues the person needs to address to challenge a decision and the findings of fact on which the decision is based. This principle continues to apply when decision making is automated.” The Ombudsman was also squeamish about the DHS automatically charging a ten per cent debt recovery fee to customers who had a debt and did not have a reasonable excuse for it. While acknowledging this practice was legal, Mr Glenn raised concerns for those customers who may not have had an adequate opportunity to provide a reasonable excuse, for example if they did not receive the initial letter, or did not understand the connection between having reasonable excuse and being charged a recovery fee. DHS no longer applies the fee automatically where there is no contact from the customer, or the customer says personal factors affected them and the fee is suspended while a review is under way. Letters are now sent by registered post. “[DHS] now provides clearer information and further invitation to provide a reasonable excuse in debt notification letters. We have recommended that, in certain cases, DHS review those debts where the recovery fee was previously applied," the report added. But although the Ombudsman said the process could have been easier to navigate, more transparent and decisions made easier to challenge he did not attack the reasoning behind the program. Mr Glenn said that although one-fifth of Centrelink Robodebts were later challenged successfully by clients after they supplied extra information, this should not be called an ‘error rate’. He said this figure was consistent with that associated with manual debt investigation and the data matching process was not at fault. Neither did he criticise the ATO practice of averaging income out over a person’s employment period, which could result in some people’s income being overstated and debt notices being issue by Centrelink, although he said this should be explained to Centrelink customers. “We are also satisfied that if the customer can collect their employment income information and enter it properly into the system, or provide it to DHS to enter, the OCI can accurately calculate the debt. “After examination of the business rules underpinning the system, we are satisfied the debts raised by the OCI are accurate, based on the information which is available to DHS at the time the decision is made.” [post_title] => Centrelink Robodebt: Human Services off the hook? [post_excerpt] => But Commonwealth Ombudsman’s report cites poor service delivery. 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As the contest hots up in former NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner’s North Shore seat, online bookmaker Sportsbet.com.au has revealed that a flurry of late bets on Ms Corrigan’s chances have made the Libs look wobbly in a seat they hold by a 30.4 per cent margin. Will Byrne from Sportsbet.com.au said there was strong support for Ms Corrigan, whose odds had shortened significantly in the run-up to the election from $4.00 into $2.50, suggesting that Saturday’s state by-election will be a close run thing. “The Liberals looked safe in North Shore but there’s been some money in the past few days to suggest the race is not run there yet,” Mr Byrne said. The North Shore electorate takes in the local government areas of Mosman and North Sydney and both councils have stridently resisted the state government’s attempts to merge them with their neighbours. Ms Corrigan is a former president of anti-forced council amalgamation community group Save Our Councils and she will be hoping the community’s rebellious sentiment continues to the ballot box. Independent candidate Carolyn Corrigan But all is not lost for Liberal candidate Felicity Wilson, a former president of the NSW Liberal Women's Council, and she is still odds on to win at $1.50. Ms Wilson came under fire earlier this week when Fairfax published a story rubbishing her claims that she had lived in the lower North Shore electorate – in Neutral Bay, Waverton and Wollstonecraft - for more than a decade. Electoral records showed she had lived in several addresses outside the electorate at various points during five of those twelve years. Ms Wilson later apologised, calling it an ‘unintentional error’. She was also criticised for claiming that the first ever vote she cast was for John Howard in Bennelong in 2001. Fairfax countered her claim by saying she lived in Marrickville, in the Grayndler electorate, at the time and could not have done so. She later admitted she had made a mistake. But whether this controversy is serious enough to cruel Ms Wilson’s chances is another matter. North Shore has been considered a very safe blue ribbon Liberal seat since 1991, although it has fallen to independents in the past, most notably to Independent North Sydney Mayor Ted Mack. Interestingly, it is not a two horse race. In fact, the Greens have outpolled Labor to come second in the last three state elections. However, Sportsbet has Greens candidate Justin Alick at $34, with a Donald Trump-style shock needed for a payout. Liberal candidate Felicity Wilson with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian Sportsbet will be hoping it makes a better fist of predicting the North Shore result than it did when Donald Trump scored a shock victory in the US election in November last year when the company reportedly paid out $11 million to 25,000 punters who picked Trump for POTUS. This weekend also sees two other NSW by-elections, former NSW Premier Mike Baird’s seat of Manly and Gosford, which was vacated by Labor MP Kathy Smith when she retired due to ill health earlier this year. The bookies have both seats as clear wins: one for Labor and one for the Liberals. Manly is tipped to go to the Liberals ($1.10) and Gosford to Labor ($1.05), despite Gosford being the state’s most marginal seat and held by Labor by only 0.2 per cent. Ms Smith narrowly beat Liberal state MP Chris Holstein in 2015 by only 203 votes. Gosford is another seat where council mergers could affect the result and the forced amalgamation between Gosford City and Wyong Shire Councils could tip the balance against the Liberals. Labor’s candidate for Gosford is Liesl Tesch, an Australian wheelchair basketball player and sailor, while the Liberals are fielding organ donation campaigner and office manager Jilly Pilon. What are the odds? North Shore by-election $1.50 Liberal $2.50 Independent (Carolyn Corrigan) $16 Independent (Ian Mutton) $16 Independent (Harry Fine) $34 Green $51 Animal Justice Party $51 Voluntary Euthanasia $101 Christian Democrats Gosford by-election $1.05 Labor $8.50 Liberal $16 Shooters, Fishers and Farmers $51 Animal Justice Party $51 Christian Democrats $101 Green Manly by-election $1.10 Liberal $7.50 Independent (Ron Delezio) $9.00 Independent (Kathryn Ridge) $11 Green $21 Independent (running for One Nation) $21 Independent (John Cook) $21 Independent (Haris Jackman) $26 Independent (Brian Clare) $26 Independent (Victor Waterson) $51 Voluntary Euthanasia (Kerry Bromson) $51 Animal Justice (Ellie Robertson) $51 Christian Democrats $51 Independent (James Mathison) [post_title] => Bookies shorten odds for independent to win North Shore by-election [post_excerpt] => Will the Libs topple in leafy la-la land? 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- Elevation and Depth
- Land Cover
Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA), representing companies responsible for the majority of container transport to and from the Port of Melbourne, has called on the Andrews’ Victorian Labor Government to help container transport operators get a ‘fair go’ in the toll pricing to use the West Gate Tunnel. CTAA was responding to the announcements by the Victorian Premier that a consortium headlined by John Holland and CPB Contractors has been selected to build the West Gate Tunnel Project (formally known as the Western Distributor Project) to commence in early 2018, and that once completed, there would be 24/7 ‘bans’ on trucks on roads in the inner west of Melbourne. CTAA director Neil Chambers said: “Not surprisingly, container transport operators in the inner and outer Western industrial suburbs undertake numerous truck trips to and from the Port of Melbourne during the day, at night and on weekends, to service vital container trade volumes through the biggest container port in Australia.” “The original government business case called for Transurban to consider a reduced toll price for transport operators undertaking these shuttle operations, as well as suitable trip caps, and the favourable treatment of Higher Productivity Freight Vehicles.” Read more here. This story first appeared in Transport and Logistics News. [post_title] => Will the West Gate Tunnel ‘ban trucks’? [post_excerpt] => 24/7 'ban' on trucks in inner western Melbourne. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => will-west-gate-tunnel-ban-trucks [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-06 15:28:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-06 05:28:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26841 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26832 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-04-06 14:50:22 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-06 04:50:22 [post_content] => Exasperated staff at Human Services will intensify strikes at Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support from Thursday next week in an attempt to break the three-year deadlock with the federal government over pay and conditions and sign a new enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA). Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) members begin two weeks of industrial action from Thursday April 13 until April 26 with longer strikes between 7am and 8.30pm, except for April 13. These are rolling strikes, which means strikers can chose to strike for as little as half an hour or for their entire shift. Recent strikes have involved shorter periods of time, from 1.30pm to 8.30pm or 12.30pm to 8.30pm. Human Services and the CPSU appear to be no closer to a resolution and a new agreement than they were last year, despite the Fair Work Commission overseeing the discussions. DHS staff have already voted down agreements three times: by 83 per cent in September 2015; 80 per cent in February 2016 and 74 per cent in November 2016. CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said a fortnight of strikes in Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support showed how frustrated workers were. “We’re talking about thousands of people with bills to pay, many of them part-time working mums on around $40,000 a year,” Ms Flood said. “DHS workers really aren’t asking for much. All they want to do is hold on to rights and conditions that have been in place for many years and allow them to balance their working and family lives. She said ‘slow but steady’ progress made by other Commonwealth agencies but talks with DHS had achieved little. “Our team has worked tirelessly trying to negotiate through this mess with DHS management. Those talks are ongoing and are currently being overseen by the Fair Work Commission, but there’s been no movement from DHS’s bosses or in fact any sign whatsoever that they actually want to resolve this.” She said the strikes came at a period of high demand for DHS services and were expected to cause ‘significant disruption’ to the department and its clients. It is not known whether the strike will affect DHS’ Mobile Services, which are helping people get emergency help in flood-hit areas of Queensland. In the past, the Department has requested the union grant exemptions to strikes on the grounds they could cause unnecessary hardship to claimants and the CPSU said they had always agreed to these requests. A CPSU spokesperson said it was difficult to predict the effects of the two-week strike because it depended on DHS’ contingency plans as to where the impact would be felt. DHS General Manager Hank Jongen said that the strike action, which includes Easter and Anzac Day, was designed to disrupt DHS' face-to-face and telephone services. He said it was an attempt by the union to make it 'even harder' for people who used its services but that it would not succeed, predicting that the impact of the industrial action would be 'minimal' and there would no disruption to existing payments. "Our priority is ensuring that the those most vulnerable or with urgent queries get the support they need," Mr Jongen said. "People can also access services through myGov and the Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support mobile apps – these will not be affected by any stoppages." He said the union's actions would not change the department’s bargaining position around the new Enterprise Agreement. "The department and the CPSU are currently making progress in bargaining before the Fair Work Commission. We are disappointed the union is initiating more industrial action while we continue to bargain in good faith. "In our most recent offer we committed to maintaining virtually all existing staff entitlements, including all our family friendly entitlements. We are also offering staff a pay rise that is both affordable and in line with community standards." [post_title] => Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support staff step up strikes [post_excerpt] => DHS says bargaining position won't change. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 26832 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-07 10:24:38 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-07 00:24:38 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26832 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26822 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-04-05 13:01:25 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-05 03:01:25 [post_content] => Former NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli goes back to uni. Pic: YouTube Adrian Piccoli – the dumped NSW Education Minister who famously made a stand against his own party by championing Gonski needs-based school funding – will work with the University of NSW on its programs for disadvantaged students and schools. Mr Piccoli was controversially dumped as the state's Education Minister during NSW Premier Gladys Berejikilian's Cabinet reshuffle in January and replaced with NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes. Now the former minister has been appointed an Honorary Professor of Practice by UNSW, which will see him working with the School of Education and Arts and Social Sciences and giving guest lectures on politics and public policy while helping with the university’s suite of education initiatives, particularly those around rural and remote education. These include:
- Boosting the number of trainee teaching placements in rural areas
- A partnership between UNSW and Matraville High School where undergraduate teachers run educational and fun after school workshops and support students academically while gaining valuable teaching experience.
- ASPIRE, a program that aims to boost the numbers of children going to university in schools where numbers are low
- A partnership between UNSW and Dharriwaa Elders Group in Walgett, Northern NSW to improve outcomes for the community
Locate17 and ISDE Must do’s:
- Learn something new: It’s highly unlikely you’re familiarised with each of the multiple program streams on offer, so why not learn about Virtual Globes, Crowd-sorting or Data lakes?
- Find out how ‘real’ reality modelling is: Speak to the likes of Nearmap, Spookfish, PSMA Australia, AEROMetrex to discover the amazing things being done with spatial data.
- Watch out for ministers: Big-wigs of Australian parliament have been known to attend Locate. In 2015, we saw Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (then minister for communications) and last year Assistant Minister Angus Young appeared ahead of launching the Smart cities initiative. Who might it be this year?
- Geocoded Addressing
- Administrative Boundaries
- Place Names
- Land Parcel and Property
- Elevation and Depth
- Land Cover
But Commonwealth Ombudsman’s report cites poor service delivery.
Will the Libs topple in leafy la-la land?
24/7 ‘ban’ on trucks in inner western Melbourne.
DHS says bargaining position won’t change.
Remote and rural areas focus.
Major hospital deal in Melbourne.
Supreme Court moves plays out.
UK’s Foster and Partners and Architectus team up.
Australasia’s biggest annual spatial event.
Hits back at critics it’s boring.
Burnout or crash through.
Australia Post election survey.