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                    [post_date] => 2018-07-20 10:01:47
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                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_31250" align="aligncenter" width="707"] Cities minister Paul Fletcher with start-up founder Rick Swancott at the launch of Lake Macqurie's IoT network.[/caption]

Partnership between a council, an economic development company and a network provider delivers Australia’s first smart city network across a local government area.

Lake Macquarie City’s Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) for the Internet of Things is also believed to be the first to be used simultaneously by start-ups, small and large businesses and government agencies to build new technologies and use data for decision-making.

The network provides 100 per cent commercial-grade IoT coverage to all populations across the local government area, which spans some 650 square kilometres.

A partnership between Dantia, the economic development company for Lake Macquarie City, Lake Macquarie City Council and IoT provider The National Narrowband Network has delivered the network without any Commonwealth Government funding.

The network is commercially funded for a 20-year contract period through the partnership between Dantia, Lake Macqurie City Council and NNN.

Peter Francis, CEO of Dantia, said the new network was a “game-changer” for the region.

“We were looking at the infrastructure that is required to drive jobs into the future, how we could create a point of difference for Lake Macquarie to be a place of choice for businesses to either do proof of concept or transfer a business to the region,” Mr Francis told Government News.

While much of the current discussion around smart cities has focused on their “infinite possibility,” Mr Francis said the group had a “pragmatic focus” on how it could assist with the delivery of jobs.

He said other smart city initiatives in Australia tend to be centred around a main street, focus on civic and government applications and are typically funded by the Commonwealth, which means the life of the project is invariably limited.

“If commercial operators can’t use it then it’ll forever be a burden on the public purse. We were interested in a partnership between government, innovators and businesses in finding a commercial way to drive this,” he said.

Dantia’s research and engagement with groups like IoT Australia suggested there are typically three stages to establishing smart cities – the infrastructure being used for civic use, then by start-ups, and finally by commercial entities.

“It’s accepted in some ways that it’ll be a three-phase approach. We asked why couldn't we do all three in one go? And that's what we’ve done,” said Mr Francis.

Partnership delivers 20-year contract

Having analysed the market, Dantia identified National Narrowband Network as its preferred provider and started to work with the company on the project. “We looked at where some of the real problems were and one of the key issues has been real estate and getting the locations to install the gateways, which are the physical infrastructure that everything flows through.” As the owner of property and facilities across the LGA, Lake Macqurie City Council was quickly identified as an ideal partner in providing the necessary real estate. “We created a commercial arrangement where the real estate would be provided at a discount in return for the civic users being able to access the system at a discount of 96 per cent of the current market rate, for the life of the agreement,” he said. In terms of start-ups, NNN was able to provide a test network free of charge which the partnership has secured as an exclusive offer for the region. Mr Francis said:
“It’s one thing to test something in the main street but to be able to test it across a whole city, on state roads, main roads and local roads, in urban and suburban environments, even in semi-rural and rural areas, in industrial and manufacturing neighbourhoods as well as the CBD – that’s a real point of difference."
The network is also targeting commercial operators, with businesses and corporations receiving a 15 per cent discount if they establish operations in Lake Macqurie City. “All of this without any Federal Government Funding,” Mr Francis said. “We engaged with the local council to help realise the value of its assets to drive that agenda of job creation and investment within the region.” Major entities such as the University of Technology Sydney, Hunter Water, Slingshot, Ampcontrol and RestTech have already signed up to use the new network.

Showcase for other smart cities 

NNN chief executive Rob Zagarella said the Lake Macquarie network would be a showcase for what cities around Australia could achieve with IoT. “We’ll be able to support businesses in the area to get their projects up and running quickly and effectively, while also enabling the city to scale important services like smart waste management,” Mr Zagarella said. Smart cities require both a carrier-grade network and a device and data platform to convert data from many different types of devices into a common format, he said. “That’s when you start creating real knowledge and outcomes that can improve the quality of life for citizens,” he added.
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[post_title] => Lake Macquarie adopts smart city to drive jobs, innovation [post_excerpt] => Partnership between a council, an economic development company and a network provider delivers Australia’s first smart city network across a local government area. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => lake-macquarie-adopts-smart-city-to-drive-jobs-innovation [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-07-20 10:55:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-20 00:55:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=31248 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 31161 [post_author] => 675 [post_date] => 2018-07-13 10:30:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-13 00:30:10 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_29770" align="aligncenter" width="675"] Two audits have identified missing data on state governments' ICT project dashboards.[/caption] Audits into the Queensland and Victorian governments’ online ICT expenditure reporting tools have found both dashboards improved transparency but their accuracy is in question. The audits by the respective state auditors-general, released within weeks of each other, praised the ICT dashboards, which contain a detailed listing of the government’s ICT projects and expenditure, for improving transparency. But both reviews cast doubts on the accuracy of the data being entered about projects, with the Queensland auditor finding there were 32 projects worth $161.4 million missing from the State Government’s dashboard despite meeting the guidelines for reporting. Similarly, Victoria’s Auditor-General found there were four projects missing from the Andrews Government’s ICT dashboard, each worth at least $1 million. Acting Victorian auditor Dave Barry said he was not “able to give assurance on the overall completeness, accuracy or integrity of the data on the dashboard” and that his probe revealed numerous “data errors.” “A lack of documentation, or discrepancies between documentation provided and published data, were the primary reasons for inaccuracies. We found that agencies experienced particular challenges in reporting accurate information when a project was transferred between agencies,” the Victorian auditor said. The Victorian audit, which is the first to review the effectiveness of the State Government’s dashboard, also found that reporting of projects was delayed. “Not all projects are reported to the dashboard by agencies in a timely fashion. When we looked at the 439 projects that have been reported, we found that nearly a third were reported later than they should have been,” the report said. Queensland auditor Brendan Worrall found “most departments” reported their data in a timely fashion. He found there “several weaknesses” with the completeness and controls over the accuracy of the content on the dashboard, “resulting in reduced user confidence in its reliability.” The Queensland auditor reported that departments failed to report on the projects either because they had their own publishing guidelines, a breakdown of internal processes or their own interpretation of what constitutes a “major ICT project.” The Victorian ICT dashboard was commissioned after a 2015 audit found that state agencies didn’t have processes to report their ICT spend and raised concerns around a lack of transparency. Similarly Queensland established its ICT dashboard in 2013 after an audit the year before identified a lack of transparency around ICT projects in the public sector. The Victorian auditor recommended improvements to record management practices for ICT projects, amending the ICT reporting standard to include more detail about the scope of projects and identifying methods to confirm the accuracy of the reported data were among. The Queensland auditor recommended that departments work together to publish agreed guidelines, an increase in the cost criteria for reporting and for projects funded to initiative to be reported.
Comment below to have your say on this story.
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[post_title] => Errors, missing projects on governments’ ICT dashboards [post_excerpt] => Audits into the Queensland and Victorian governments’ online ICT expenditure reporting tools have found both dashboards improved transparency but their accuracy is in question. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => errors-missing-projects-on-governments-ict-dashboards [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-07-17 09:58:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-16 23:58:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=31161 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 31120 [post_author] => 675 [post_date] => 2018-07-10 10:08:24 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-10 00:08:24 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_25246" align="aligncenter" width="623"] Not all government contracts are subject to ICT procurement cap: agencies say.[/caption] Experts say the Commonwealth’s landmark $1 billion whole-of-government contract with IBM is contrary to its $100 million procurement cap and bad news for small and medium-sized enterprises. Under the five-year contract announced last week, multinational tech company IBM will provide technology services to all government departments and agencies as part of the Commonwealth's digital transformation agenda. The agreement involves IBM hardware, software and cloud-based solutions, and includes joint innovation programs in quantum, cybersecurity, and research aimed at furthering the government's digital transformation agenda. [caption id="attachment_31122" align="alignright" width="173"] Fergus Hanson[/caption] Fergus Hanson, head of the International Cyber Policy Centre at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the contract shows the government has moved on from IBM’s role in the 2016 Census debacle and that the Commonwealth’s $100 million procurement cap aimed at growing SME procurement by 10 per cent is conditional. “It signals that IBM is out of the sin bin after the government e-census fail. It also reminds people that the $100 cap we’ve been told is one of the new procurement principles does not extend to whole-of-government contracting,” Mr Hanson told Government News. The introduction of the procurement cap late last year followed a push by Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Transformation Michael Keenan for a “new procurement culture” after the 2017 ICT Procurement Taskforce advocated greater investment in Australian SMEs. Yesterday a spokesperson for Minister Keenan said that whole-of-government agreements align with the findings of the taskforce “which recommended a coordinated process be mandated for significant IT procurement and IT vendor relationships.” The Digital Transformation Agency told Government News that not all government contracts are subject to the procurement cap. “Coordinated procurement arrangements are not subject to the cap on contract value and length,” the DTA spokesperson said, adding that the IBM agreement delivers numerous benefits, including protecting the government against price rises. The contract has been touted by government as delivering savings of more than $100 million and fast-tracking digital services to citizens as part of the government’s broader digital strategy. “Previously, agencies have negotiated individually with major suppliers which often resulted in different pricing structures across government. As a major buyer of IBM’s products and services, the deal enables us to maximise the return on our ICT investments and ensures that taxpayers are always getting the best possible value for money,” Minister Keenan’s spokesperson said.

Limiting SME participation

[caption id="attachment_31123" align="alignright" width="175"] David Watts[/caption] David Watts, professor of information policy at La Trobe University and a veteran regulator and policy maker, expressed concern that the contract could reduce the participation of SMEs in government procurement. “IBM is a safe pair of hands, but the question is: are they a suitable pair of hands? I would question if they’re the right supplier,” he told Government News. “It puts a lot of government balls in one supplier’s basket. I don’t see how it works as complimenting industry policy and how government contracts can be used economically and strategically to benefit local industry,” said Professor Watts, who was Victoria's privacy commissioner until last year. Minister Keenan has said that a “channel partner” arrangement will enable SMEs to engage with IBM to ensure they benefit. But Professor Watts said that under this arrangement SMEs would still be “mediated by IBM” and not the government. “There’s every reason to fear people like that will be locked out even if it’s because they have to work within IBM’s ecosystem,” he said.

Outsourcing key areas

Professor Watts says that the move represents a wider issue in which government outsources areas like bitcoin and cybersecurity to large companies.   “I would urge great caution in outsourcing those sorts of problems to a very large provider,” he said. The IBM announcement comes just weeks after a senate inquiry called for changes in the government’s ICT contracting. Dr Nick Tate of the Australian Computer Society told the Finance and Public Administration Committee’s inquiry into digital delivery in government that large multinationals have a monopoly on government contracts. “Procurement officers within government departments have a tendency to play it too safe when purchasing, relying too much on a handful of major international suppliers,” he told that inquiry. 

Open tendering critical 

ASPI’s Mr Hanson argues that a fair and open tendering process at the heart of all government ICT contracts is critical. “It’s good to support SMEs in the market but the big issue here is making sure there is fairness in all procurement so we have greater competition for government contracts, making sure those stories we hear of projects that are won by default or insider projects don’t occur,” he said. Governments must strike a balance between the need to use taxpayer funds responsibly, which may tend toward buying cheapest products, with the interest in potentially subsidising the SME market, Mr Hanson argued. Professor Watts said that there is the need for more strategic thinking by the government about ICT investment, including more strategic procurement and tendering processes.
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[post_title] => IBM 'out of the sin bin’: experts criticise $1b contract [post_excerpt] => Experts say the Commonwealth’s landmark $1 billion whole-of-government contract with IBM is contrary to its $100 million procurement cap and bad news for small and medium-sized enterprises. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => ibm-out-of-the-sin-bin-experts-criticise-1b-contract [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-07-10 12:15:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-10 02:15:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=31120 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 31043 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2018-07-06 08:26:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-05 22:26:42 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_31063" align="aligncenter" width="614"] New survey of 24 government departments shows digital leadership is a top concern.[/caption] A lack of senior leadership to steer digital transformation in the public sector is the biggest concern of government executives, writes Keiran Mott. Australia’s goal of having one of the top three digital governments in world could be constrained by a lack of success in implementing digital transformation projects. Digital transformation minister Michael Keenan recently outlined plans to make interactions and engagement with government easier, and to use data analytics to support more innovative decision-making. However, while such goals would deliver significant benefits, they will be hampered by the roadblocks preventing the delivery of widespread digital transformation across the public sector. [caption id="attachment_31045" align="alignright" width="153"] Keiran Mott[/caption] Departments and agencies remain highly reliant on legacy infrastructure and applications, which absorb the vast majority of IT budgets. This leaves little funding for new, transformative projects. The public sector also tends to operate on short, three or four-year timeframes because of the election cycle. This makes it difficult for any large-scale projects to attract necessary endorsement and funding. According to a recent survey of senior executives in 115 organisations, including 24 government departments, 60 per cent of respondents nominated a lack of tools and methodologies as the top factor inhibiting the successful completion of digital transformation projects.

Leadership worries

The survey, which was commissioned by FTS Group and Software AG, found 41 per cent indicated a lack of senior leadership was their biggest concern. The results are concerning and highlight the considerable work to be done within Australia’s public sector if the promises of digital transformation are to be fully realised. In particular, political leaders must clearly communicate that they support these critical initiatives and provide sufficient funding to allow the acquisition of the proper tools for the job. Other constraints flagged by the survey respondents, who included chief digital officers and CIOs, included a lack of funding (34 per cent) and a lack of leadership from line managers (28 per cent). Despite a clear need for digital transformation within many departments and agencies, the survey found almost a third (32 per cent) are not using digital technologies to transform their internal processes and workflows. This suggests organisations not taking advantage of technologies to improve the way they operate face entrenched inefficiencies. Many public-sector managers still only view digital transformation as a way to streamline processes through automation but its potential for adding value is far more profound than this.

Key technology challenges

The survey also sought to understand what key technologies public sector organisations feel will have the most impact on their digital transformation initiatives during the next two years. Top of the list was cloud computing, nominated by 44 per cent of respondents, followed by mobility (37 per cent), the Internet of Things (35 per cent) and advanced analytics (26 per cent). These results are not surprising as both cloud and mobile continue to be hot topics within the majority of organisations. However, in reality, cloud and mobile are merely platforms to more easily connect government with the public it serves. What’s more important is what services and solutions will be provided in the cloud or on a mobile device. These are the things that will drive digital initiatives and have a positive long-term impact on government.

Key business challenges

The survey also revealed the key business challenges currently faced by Australian organisations that they are aiming to overcome through digital transformation projects. Their greatest issue was business agility, nominated by 52 per cent of respondents, followed by cost efficiency (45 per cent) and data capture and analysis (37 per cent). Where cost reduction had been top-of-mind within the public sector, these results show that attention has now shifted to becoming more agile. However, while they are often seen as competing priorities, they are actually two sides of the same coin, and both fall under the umbrella of driving organisational improvement.

Strategies for success

Digital transformation programs can achieve both improved agility and cost reduction if some key guidelines are followed. These include:
  • Establish a digital champion: Assign an individual within the organisation responsibility for driving change and striking a balance between the needs of the business and fiscal discipline.
  • Utilise off-the-shelf products and platforms: Most organisations see their operations and needs as unique and therefore requiring a custom solution. However, this can often be addressed with process change. For example, by establishing ways to automate service delivery, an organisation can decrease the time needed to implement a new policy.
  • Make iterative changes: Rapid, small changes ensure innovation is accessible and less intimidating for an organisation. It also ensures that efficiency improvements happen quickly, freeing up time that can be saved and re-invested. Small wins breed momentum for greater change.
  • Don’t forget the human impact: Technology-focused projects often neglect the human impact of the change. Include a human centred design approach and back that up with a strong change management and training program to ensure the digital initiatives are adopted by people driving the business.
  • Promote internal innovation: By focusing on internal innovation, particularly improving procedures and cutting down on waste, organisations can free up time which can be spent getting more of the usual work done or devoting more time to process improvements. 
By following these guidelines, government departments and agencies will be much better placed to reach the stated goal of being a global top three digital government by 2025. They will be able to take advantage of the benefits offered by new technologies and services to drive efficiencies and improve overall organisational performance.
Keiran Mott is the chief executive officer of Veritec.
Comment below to have your say on this story.
If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at editorial@governmentnews.com.au.  
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[post_title] => Lack of leadership, funding hinder digital success: research [post_excerpt] => A lack of senior leadership to steer digital transformation in the public sector is the biggest concern of government executives, writes Keiran Mott. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => lack-of-leadership-funding-hinder-digital-success-research [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-07-06 10:15:16 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-06 00:15:16 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=31043 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 31001 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2018-07-03 08:30:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-02 22:30:06 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_31022" align="aligncenter" width="677"] Business intelligence enables data-driven decision making in councils: Cowling.[/caption] It’s imperative that local government adopt tools to help them sift through the increasing pools of data, writes Ben Cowling. The sheer amount of data in government is staggering. Research suggests that more data has been created in the last two years than in the history of mankind. By 2020, 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every human being on the planet. As data generation takes place, the public’s demand for information will continue to grow. Therefore it’s imperative that councils implement tools to help them access and sift through the vast pools of data. While big data and analytics may still be gaining prominence, councils across Australia and New Zealand need to invest in and focus on business intelligence. [caption id="attachment_31003" align="alignright" width="136"] Ben Cowling[/caption] 1. Providing a basis for deploying new technologies In the next few years, big data, AI and analytics will be an area of focus for most public sector organisations. AI in analytics will also gain prominence as new technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and machine learning are set to be a part of the digital transformation strategies of innovative councils. Data integrity will be a priority for implementing these new technologies, and BI will play an important role in establishing data integrity. 2. Data-driven decisions BI tools enable councils to analyse data for more informed decision making. The data can help councils set priorities and make better choices when planning initiatives to deliver desired outcomes. Getting data out of spreadsheets and into a system reduces the risk of incorrect information. Using BI can help decision makers drill down to specific data and distribute it easily between key personnel, helping to improve internal processes and accelerate data-driven decisions. 3. Identifying and eliminating inefficiencies BI can also help councils understand the success or failure of current processes by offering a plethora of information. BI provides decision makers with evidence on what is and isn’t working well, thereby giving them the ability to eliminate ineffective processes. 4. Improve employee performance, outcomes Employees will be able to more easily identify insights they can take action on, instead of sifting through large amounts of data in order to figure out what’s occurring in their organisations. Decisions driven by real-time data shift employees’ focus from execution to strategy, which leads to improved performance and outcomes. 5. Customer intelligence BI offers councils the tools to analyse the customer data they capture. This can inform the development and delivery of more tailored, responsive services for citizens which in turn helps local government meet and exceed contemporary expectations. 6. Provide a mobile platform The ability to consolidate data into one platform is a key advantage of BI. Councils can opt for a solution that provides access to financial and non-financial data from different areas of the business, such as human resources, communications, finance, and assets. Having this information on mobile devices allows council executives to make informed decisions quickly. Local governments report that mobile access to information is especially helpful during council meetings as it provides up-to-date data on status of projects, budgets and key performance indicators.   7. Data convergence BI enables organisations to converge data into a single dashboard that can be accessed by decision-makers and other strategic employees. This can help in monitoring and identifying issues and evaluate options that will deliver the best outcomes based on council priorities. According to Gartner, the next steps for BI are analytical queries that will be generated via search, natural language processing or the likes of Alexa, Siri and other voice assistants. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 50 per cent of queries will come from voice assistants. As analytics evolve, technology platforms will become easier to operate. Therefore, organisations will fewer ‘technical’ people to use them. However, it will be crucial to invest in employees who possess strategic thinking to extract the best of BI solutions. Additionally, focusing on data will help organisations gain a competitive advantage and enable them to provide a better experience for citizens and to make more informed decisions.
Ben Cowling is managing director for local and state government solutions at Civica International.
Comment below to have your say on this story.
If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at editorial@governmentnews.com.au.  
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[post_title] => Why Australian councils are embracing business intelligence [post_excerpt] => It’s imperative that local government adopt tools to help them sift through the increasing pools of data, writes Ben Cowling. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => why-australian-councils-are-embracing-business-intelligence [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-07-03 09:42:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-02 23:42:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=31001 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30917 [post_author] => 655 [post_date] => 2018-06-26 09:58:26 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-25 23:58:26 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30918" align="aligncenter" width="691"] Governments at all levels are increasingly focused on data.[/caption] In the first of a new regular Government News series exploring key issues in detail, we look at how and why governments are using data for smarter, more efficient operations. Standards for data sharing in sight: Data sharing across agencies is a growing trend in Australian government, but even anonymised data can often be re-identified. A new Australian initiative aims to solve the problem, as Graeme Philipson discovers. Case study: ABS gains insights from single source: Moving to a single system has provide the Australian Bureau of Statistics with improved intelligence around expenses, which has meant greater control and visibility. New Australian data centre for secure local cloud hosting: Governance technology specialist Diligent has launched a local data hosting facility at a state-of-the-art campus operated by Canberra Data Centres (CDC). Welcome to the first Operational Report, Government News’s new regular in-depth report on a key operational or service delivery area for government. This issue takes an extensive look at how governments at all levels are using data for improved service delivery. The next Operational Report, to be published in July, will focus on Fleet. Inquiries to info@governmentnews.com.au [post_title] => Operational Report: new initiatives guide governments on data [post_excerpt] => In the first of a new regular Government News series exploring key issues in detail, we look at how and why governments are using data for smarter, more efficient operations. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => operational-report-new-initiatives-guide-governments-on-data [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-29 09:22:11 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-28 23:22:11 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30917 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30888 [post_author] => 669 [post_date] => 2018-06-26 09:56:36 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-25 23:56:36 [post_content] => Governance technology specialist Diligent has launched a local data hosting facility at a state-of-the-art campus operated by Canberra Data Centres (CDC). Diligent Corporation, a leader in enterprise governance management, says the new facility enables it to continue to better serve its government and large company clients, many of which increasingly prefer to host sensitive data onshore. Referring to recent developments such as Australia’s Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, Diligent vice president of sales Asia Pacific Chris Lawley said that “data security has never been more important to our clients.” The new facility represents a significant investment in Australia by Diligent, which provides secure governance and communication services to more than 12,000 organisations and 350,000 directors around the world. Security at the CDC facility meets the Australian Federal Government’s standards, including a minimum standard for Zone 4 security. The facility is also monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by on-site security guards and CCTV. “Additionally, the Australian data centre will offer faster access to Diligent’s suite of governance-focused cloud-based tools for local clients. A number of clients are currently migrating their data to the facility, which went live in April,” the company said. CDC chief executive officer Greg Boorer said that the Australian data centre is a logical next step to support the tailored approach to corporate governance technology. “The launch of the Diligent platform at CDC as an Australian data centre is an important part of giving their government, national critical infrastructure as well as commercial clients the ability to structure corporate governance solutions to their specific needs and the markets in which they operate in an assured manner; with the confidence that in terms of security and resilience the data centre foundation itself is certified to the highest of standards.” Brought to you in association with Diligent

Read more of our Operational Report: Data 

[post_title] => New Australian data centre for secure local cloud hosting [post_excerpt] => Governance technology specialist Diligent has launched a local data hosting facility at a state-of-the-art campus operated by Canberra Data Centres (CDC). [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => new-australian-data-centre-for-secure-local-cloud-hosting [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-26 09:59:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-25 23:59:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30888 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30843 [post_author] => 669 [post_date] => 2018-06-26 09:55:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-25 23:55:42 [post_content] => Moving to a single system has provide the Australian Bureau of Statistics with improved intelligence around expenses, which has meant greater control and visibility. The Australian Bureau of Statistics is Australia's national statistical agency involved in the production of statistics on a wide variety of matters, including the five-yearly Census. Previously the ABS was using numerous disparate systems that were costly to maintain and relied on approving managers within the credit card workflow process to detect illegitimate and non-compliant transactions. Since adopting a single system, the ABS now has significantly improved intelligence around travel expenses, which has meant greater control and visibility. Watch the video case study:

Establishing a blueprint

Announcing the release of the Secure Cloud Strategy in February 20182, the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Transformation, Michael Keenan also announced that the Government had executed a new whole-of-government arrangement with cloud-based travel and expense management solutions provider Concur. This whitepaper explores in-depth how the ABS has adopted Concur as an integrated end-to-end travel and expense management solution. Click here to access the white paper Brought to you in association with SAP Concur 

Read more of our Operational Report: Data 

[post_title] => Case study: ABS gains insights from single source [post_excerpt] => Moving to a single system has provide the Australian Bureau of Statistics with improved intelligence around expenses, which has meant greater control and visibility. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => case-study-abs-gains-insights-from-single-source [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-26 15:27:17 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-26 05:27:17 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30843 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30911 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2018-06-26 09:34:18 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-25 23:34:18 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30913" align="aligncenter" width="688"] A forthcoming high-level paper provides standards on data sharing.[/caption] Data sharing across agencies is a growing trend in Australian government, but even anonymised data can often be re-identified. A new Australian initiative aims to solve the problem, as Graeme Philipson discovers. In August 2016 a large data set of 2.9 million Australians – more than 10 percent of the population – was published on the Department of Health’s open data website. The data, containing over a billion records of patients’ medical history going back 30 years, had been ‘de-identified’ – all data that could be used to identify individuals had been stripped out.  “To ensure that personal details cannot be derived from this data, a suite of confidentiality measures including encryption, perturbation and exclusion of rare events has been applied,” said the Department at the time. It was not enough. The data set was withdrawn within a month after three University of Melbourne researchers used publicly available data to reidentify individuals in the data set. It was a high-profile incident at the time, after the researchers showed that they were able to match data and identify seven prominent individuals - including MPs and AFL footballers. The researchers, Dr Chris Culnane, Dr Benjamin Rubinstein and Dr Vanessa Teague, said that the re-identification was a simple process for anyone with undergraduate IT skills.

Stepping back from data sharing

The Health Department reidentification issue has set back the cause of open data in Australia significantly. In an attempt to solve the problems highlighted by the Melbourne researchers, a cross-industry taskforce was formed in an attempt to develop standards and procedures which would prevent the reidentification of anonymised data. The taskforce was led by Dr Ian Oppermann, CEO and chief data scientist at the NSW Treasury’s influential Data Analytics Centre. In September 2017 it published a technical whitepaper, Data Sharing Frameworks, which outlined the issues and the challenges facing data sharing in Australia, and in particular the problems with re-identification.  The taskforce worked under the auspices of the Australian Computer Society and included representatives from Standards Australia, CSIRO and its Data 61 division, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner and the Digital Transformation Office, to develop a framework for data sharing across Australian government.

Addressing the problems

The whitepaper outlines a number of challenges, one of the most important of which is ensuring that data cannot be used to re-identify individuals based on personally identifiable information. [caption id="attachment_30912" align="alignright" width="165"] Dr Ian Oppermann[/caption] “Even when you remove information like people’s names and addresses, there are other pieces of information there that make it possible for individuals be identified,” Dr Oppermann explained to Government News. “A lot of it depends on context. It is impossible to tell what data might be used for re-identification. Health records, for example, often contain information specific to an individual which, combined with other data that can be introduced later, will make it possible for individual to be identified. “One of the problems is that there are no standards for anonymised data,” says Dr Oppermann. “That is what we are attempting to do with the Data Sharing Task Force – developing an unambiguous test for the presence of personally identifiable information within a number of data sets." Future smart services for homes, factories, cities and governments rely on sharing large volumes of often personal data between individuals and organisations, or between individuals and governments, he says.  “Data sharing comes with a wide range of challenges: data format and meaning, legal obligations, privacy, data security, and concerns about the unintended consequences of data sharing,” says Dr Oppermann. “This creates the need to develop sharing frameworks which address technical challenges, embed regulatory frameworks, and anticipate and address concerns as to fairness and equity of outcomes in order to maintain the trust of consumers and citizens.” Dr Oppermann says that human judgement is not sufficient to determine the possibility of re-identification in any one case, and that standards based on a number of statistical factors need to be developed. Now the taskforce has developed the draft of a second whitepaper, which Government News has seen, that makes recommendations on standards and procedures to ensure that shared data cannot be re-identified. It's expected that the whitepaper will be published soon.

The ‘Five Safes’

Central to the approach being taken is the ‘Five Safes’ framework:
  • Safe People: relies on individuals to act appropriately, based on their technical skills and training.
  • Safe Projects: legislation and guidelines.
  • Safe Setting: physical controls over the usage of the data.
  • Safe Data: the potential for identification in the data, and the sensitivity of the data itself.
  • Safe Outputs: control over other data is used.
The document contains a number of draft standards which Dr Oppermann believes address the legal and technical issues surrounding reidentification. It uses a number of calculations based on statistical analysis methodologies to overcome many of the concerns expressed in the earlier whitepaper that human judgement calls were not sufficient to guard against reidentification. The draft guidelines go well beyond existing international efforts designed to prevent re-identification. They have the potential to significantly alter the landscape for data sharing in government, because they are the first real attempt to overcome the practical issues surrounding data and normalisation and re-identification. The inclusion of Standards Australia in the task force indicates that the procedures it implements might well be adopted internationally - Australia has a long history of being a pioneer in the development of international standards in areas that involve complex procedural matters.  “The development of standards around just what ‘anonymised’ means will help to address the challenges of dealing with privacy,” says Dr Oppermann. “In all parts of the world, there is currently only very high-level guidance, and certainly nothing quantitative, as to what to ‘anonymise’ and how to do it. That means many organisations must determine what it means for them based on different data sets. “We believe we have an answer to the problem.”

Read more of our Operational Report: Data

[post_title] => Standards for data sharing in sight [post_excerpt] => Data sharing across agencies is a growing trend in Australian government, but even anonymised data can often be re-identified. A new Australian initiative aims to solve the problem, as Graeme Philipson discovers. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => standards-for-data-sharing-in-sight [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-26 13:52:53 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-26 03:52:53 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30911 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30723 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2018-06-15 10:42:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-15 00:42:41 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30725" align="aligncenter" width="675"] 'Data privacy continues to be a topical issue attracting continued interest from the public and the media.'[/caption] OPINION: With the Federal Government committed to a cloud-first policy, Australians have inalienable rights to know where their data is stored, and who has access to it, writes Rupert Taylor-Price. In the wake of recent revelations regarding social media giant Facebook allowing the harvesting of over 300,000 Australian user profiles by data analytics organisation Cambridge Analytica, questions have arisen about the safety of people’s data. The incident has left both organisations with financial and reputational ramifications with legal action not yet ruled out. As people around the world focus on how the data that was harvested affected the US political landscape, president Donald Trump signed legislation that went into effect over the weekend allowing US law-enforcement agencies to access data that is stored by any US-based tech company. [caption id="attachment_30727" align="alignright" width="139"] Rupert Taylor-Price[/caption] With the Australian Government committed to a cloud-first policy to drive a greater take up of cloud services by Commonwealth agencies, Australians have an inalienable set of rights to know where their data is stored, and who has access to it. As the clarity of who has access to sensitive data across cloud service providers gets murkier, the new Australian cloud first world must protect data as the Australian Government and its associated legislation has done in the past. Technological advances should only be applied in clear knowledge of appropriate privacy, security, and national primacy of authority in all elements of the cloud system. This means that sensitive data about Australian citizens must be stored on an ASD certified cloud that can guarantee information is not accessible by foreign governments and their allies. If steps are not taken to ensure Australian data stays onshore and is only accessible by Australian owned and operated organisations, the risk of irrevocably losing the public’s trust in government is almost certain. Data privacy continues to be a topical issue attracting continued interest from the public and the media, particularly with 93 per cent of Australians concerned about organisations sending their personal information overseas.

Ensuring data is secure 

In order to make the necessary guarantees to the Australian public that their data is secure, the Australian Government must ensure:
  • cloud providers used are solely within the Australian legal jurisdiction
  • the confinement of all data storage is restricted to onshore data centres
  • security protocols and systems are kept in Australia and within ASD requirements
  • Commonwealth primacy in all aspects of operation and access to the cloud system.
Additionally, all individuals administering or accessing the cloud system must be Australian citizens and Australian security cleared. Once Australian data or management moves offshore it is no longer tightly controlled and is subject to the laws of a foreign country or the practices of a foreign corporation. Allowing foreign companies to access and control Australian’s data will not protect the existing rights of Australians to have their privacy and data adequately protected. Cloud computing can be a disruptive technology in a privacy and security sense. Cloud storage can move data from its traditional location within departmental computer systems to outsourced storage. Ministers, secretaries, and senior officials must ensure that this external storage is exclusively subject to Australian laws and jurisdiction. The only way to do this is to guarantee that Australian data is physically stored within Australian borders and not overseas. Aside from the loss of privacy, using foreign companies to store Australian data equates to the loss of Australian jobs and taxes, damaging the Australian economy. Jobs that should belong to Australian workers and taxes that rightfully belong to Australia are irrevocably lost when data is moved offshore. Foreign companies reap the benefits of controlling Australian data. Data sovereignty and privacy can only be assured using Australian data centres and Australian security cleared employees. The personal, sensitive data of Australians must be managed by Australians who have the appropriate level of access, within Australian borders and in accordance with the laws of Australia.
Rupert Taylor-Price is the CEO and founder of Vault Systems.
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If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at editorial@governmentnews.com.au.  
Sign up to the Government News newsletter.
[post_title] => Rules for protecting citizens’ personal data [post_excerpt] => OPINION: With the Federal Government committed to a cloud-first policy, Australians have inalienable rights to know where their data is stored, and who has access to it, writes Rupert Taylor-Price. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => rules-for-protecting-citizens-personal-data [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-15 12:08:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-15 02:08:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30723 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30594 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2018-06-05 10:32:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-05 00:32:10 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30596" align="aligncenter" width="636"] Many large cities face the twin challenges of ageing infrastructure and increased volumes of people.[/caption] Cities are expanding upwards and downwards, as well as outwards. With urban density also increasing, moving people efficiently around the city, often using ageing infrastructure, is quite a challenge, write Andrea Connor and Donald McNeill. Cities worldwide face the problems and possibilities of “volume”: the stacking and moving of people and things within booming central business districts. We see this especially around mass public transport hubs. As cities grow, they also become more vertical. They are expanding underground through rail corridors and above ground into the tall buildings that shape city skylines. Cities are deep as well as wide. The urban geographer Stephen Graham describes cities as both “vertically stacked” and “vertically sprawled”, laced together by vertical and horizontal transport systems. People flow in large cities is not only about how people move horizontally on rail and road networks into and out of city centres. It also includes vertical transport systems. These are the elevators, escalators and moving sidewalks that commuters use every day to get from the underground to the surface street level. Major transport hubs are where many vertical and horizontal transport systems converge. It’s here that people flows are most dense. But many large cities face the twin challenges of ageing infrastructure and increased volumes of people flowing through transport hubs. Problems of congestion, overcrowding, delays and even lockouts are becoming more common. Governments are increasingly looking for ways to squeeze more capacity out of existing infrastructure networks.

Can we increase capacity by changing behaviour?

For the last three years, Transport for London (TfL) has been running standing-only escalator trials. The aim is to see if changing commuter behaviour might increase “throughput” of people and reduce delays. London has some of the deepest underground stations in the world. This means the Tube system is heavily reliant on vertical transport such as escalators. But a long-standing convention means people only stand on the right side and allow others to walk up on the left. In a trial at Holborn Station, one of London’s deepest at 23 metres, commuters were asked to stand on both sides during morning rush hour. The results of the trials showed that changing commuter behaviour could improve throughput by increasing capacity by as much as 30% at peak times. But this works only in Tube stations with very tall escalators. At stations with escalators less than 18 metres high, like Canary Wharf, the trials found the opposite – standing would only increase congestion across the network. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"] By standing only, 30% more people could fit on an escalator in the trial at Holborn Station.[/caption] The difference is down to human behaviour. People are simply less willing to walk up very tall escalators. This means a standing-only policy across the network won’t improve people flow uniformly and could even make congestion worse.

Is people movement data a solution?

With the introduction of ticketless transport cards it’s now possible to gather more data about people flow through busy transport hubs as we tap on and off. Tracking commuters’ in-station journeys through their Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as smart phones, can also offer a detailed picture of movement between platforms, congestion and delays. Transport for London has already conducted its first Wi-Fi tracking trial in the London Underground. Issues of privacy loom large in harvesting mobile data from individual devices. Still, there’s enormous potential to use this data to resolve issues of overcrowding and inform commuters about delays and congestion en route. Governments are also increasingly turning to consultancy firms that specialise in simulation modelling of people flow. That’s everything from check-in queues and processing at terminals, to route tracking and passenger flow on escalators. Using data analytics, people movement specialists identify movement patterns, count footfall and analyse commuter behaviour. In existing infrastructure, they look to achieve “efficiencies” through changes to scheduling and routing, and assessing the directional flow of commuters. Construction and engineering companies are also beginning to employ people movement specialists during the design phase of large infrastructure projects. Beijing’s Daxing airport, due for completion in 2020, will be the largest transport hub in China. It’s also the first major infrastructure project to use crowd simulation and analysis software during the design process to test anticipated volume against capacity. The advice of people movement specialists can have significant impacts on physical infrastructure. This involves aspects such as the width of platforms, number and placement of gates, and the layout and positioning of vertical transport, such as escalators.

Movement analytics is becoming big business

People movement analytics is becoming big business, especially where financialisation of public assets is increasing. This means infrastructure is being developed through complex public-private partnership models. As a result, transport hubs are now also commercial spaces for retail, leisure and business activities. Commuters are no longer only in transit when they make their way through these spaces. They are potential consumers as they move through the retail concourse in many of these developments. In an era of “digital disruption”, which is particularly affecting the retail sector, information about commuter mobility has potential commercial value. The application of data analytics to people flow and its use by the people movement industry to achieve “efficiencies” needs careful scrutiny to ensure benefits beyond commercial gain. The ConversationAt the same time, mobility data may well help our increasingly vertical cities to keep flowing up, down and across.
Andrea Connor is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University and Donald McNeill is a professor of urban and cultural geography at Western Sydney University.This article was originally published on The Conversation
[post_title] => Growing cities face challenges of keeping the masses moving  [post_excerpt] => Cities are expanding upwards and downwards, as well as outwards. With urban density also increasing, moving people efficiently around the city, often using ageing infrastructure, is quite a challenge, write Andrea Connor and Donald McNeill. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => growing-cities-face-challenges-of-keeping-the-masses-moving [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-05 11:20:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-05 01:20:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30594 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30479 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2018-05-29 08:15:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-28 22:15:40 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30482" align="aligncenter" width="600"] APIs make digital government work but are suffering an 'identity crisis'. [/caption] No longer simply the tools used by developers for internal systems, APIs can push digital government programs to new levels, writes Dean Lacheca. Application programming interfaces (APIs) are the building blocks of digital transformation – they make digital society and digital government work. They connect people, businesses and things. They enable new digital products and business models for services, and create new business channels. [caption id="attachment_30481" align="alignright" width="117"] Dean Lacheca[/caption] Despite the significant role they play in government, APIs are suffering an identity crisis in the eyes of executives. Overuse of a misunderstood technical reference is undermining the critical and transformational impact they can have on government organisations. Unfortunately, government IT departments tend to revert to treating APIs as a type of technology, rather than a business product. Yet APIs are no longer simply the tools used by developers for internal systems and integration. They’re a strategic government service that can push open and digital government programs to new levels. New revenue, service innovation and optimisation opportunities can be lost if APIs aren’t properly articulated in business terms.

Communicate outcomes, not technology

Many government organisations are largely ignoring APIs, not positioning them within their business or technology strategies. If you’re a government CIO, it’s your role to turn executives’ perceptions around to enable future innovation and collaboration across your organisation and the community. Focus on the value APIs represent and the outcomes they’ll deliver, rather than technology. Open government transparency programs are supported by APIs. They also support innovation, from government services to empowering ecosystem partners, through to community-led innovation distributed across a range of third parties. APIs are used to improve integration into third-party platforms, such as Google Maps. They improve the government's agility to support more rapid service model changes and they open opportunities for new revenue sources. They also support government efforts to improve operational efficiencies and improve cross-government data and service usage. By building a comprehensive, multi-faceted, value-driven strategy around these business outcomes and benefits, the real impact of the API programs will be recognised. This outcome focused approach will allow government organisations to reach beyond their organisations and governments to engage citizens, businesses and ecosystem partners through new channels.

Focus strategy on citizen, government or value

APIs are building blocks and enablers of digital government that require specific architectural and management considerations. However, these technical considerations and investments won’t resonate with government executives in isolation. APIs — and the investment required to support them — must be positioned as an enabler of outcomes, not an outcome in itself. You won’t succeed if strategies or business cases for investment in APIs or ecosystem platforms are perceived as abstract technology investments. An architectural decision to adopt a modern application architecture represents a significant investment in technology, skills development and time. This investment must represent measurable value beyond IT. The value of the API platform must be articulated in terms of tangible value to the organisation or the community. A business case in the taxation domain, for example, wouldn’t focus on the benefits of the technology. It would be built around coordinating efforts and orchestrating data from across the public and private sectors to simplify the user experience and help increase compliance and collection rates. The value must be outcome-based and aligned with the strategies, values and/or action plans of the organisation. These can be simple to explain, like the potential to generate revenue by monetising API products. They could be linked to multi-channel service delivery strategies or the engagement of ecosystem partners to drive innovation. Rather than the government developing additional channels for services, for example, it can choose to be an ecosystem partner and let other people build the apps or dashboards, saving it money while improving citizen service delivery. Examples of these types of APIs exist within the public transport domain in Australia. Most states offer some level of APIs for their public transport services, such as Queensland's TransLink APIs, Transport NSW and Public Transport Victoria. Some uses include real-time vehicle positioning for trains, buses, ferries and light rail vehicles, while others offer real-time arrival times at specific stops. The information is used by developers to offer services like trip planners through mobile apps. Alternatively, the APIs could fall into the operational efficiency category, putting an API in front of an existing legacy application to allow service innovation. Later, you may decide to replace the existing legacy application for something less costly without impacting the already modernised services. The value that the API represents must be expressed in terminology understood by non-technical government executives. If you’re building strategies or business cases for this investment, you must be able to articulate how benefits such as increased agility, improved scalability, operational efficiency or support for a continuous multi-channel experience represent value to the organisation.
Dean Lacheca is a research director at Gartner focused on supporting public sector CIOs on the transition to digital government.
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[post_title] => ‘Building blocks’ of digital transformation ignored [post_excerpt] => No longer simply the tools used by developers for internal systems, APIs can push digital government programs to new levels, writes Dean Lacheca. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => building-blocks-of-digital-transformation-ignored [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-29 09:13:56 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-28 23:13:56 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30479 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30394 [post_author] => 675 [post_date] => 2018-05-21 16:13:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-21 06:13:58 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30396" align="aligncenter" width="695"] Governments can lead on ethical AI adoption, says Alan Finkel.[/caption] Australia’s Chief Scientist has urged the Federal Government to use its purchasing power to reward ethical conduct by providers of artificial intelligence.  Speaking at a CEDA event in Sydney Dr Alan Finkel said the government had a vital role to play in driving the success of his proposed ethics certification by procuring AI that had met the necessary standards.  The certification, which Dr Finkel called The Turing Test after scientist Alan Turing who first proposed it in 1950, would operate as a "trust stamp" for companies that meet relevant ethical standards and independent auditing requirements. “Imagine if the government demanded a Turing Certificate, it would send a very powerful signal,” he told the event on Friday. “Those government contracts are likely to be extremely valuable for companies who supply those capabilities.” This ethics certification would apply both to the product itself and to the company’s processes in manufacturing AI, Dr Finkel said.
“When you trade with AI developers you expect to have an ongoing relationship, you would want companies that store data and develop upgrades to be ethical through and through.”
While there may be an initial cost required to receive the certification, it would reward companies by attracting consumers, Dr Finkel said. Dr Finkel was optimistic that Australia could set a global example by making use of the recent federal budget’s allocation to AI. The allocation includes $30 million over four years to fund AI and machine learning, a Technology Roadmap and a national AI Ethics Framework. “A system that rewards quality and prioritises ethics will reward Australia,” he said. Watch Dr Finkel's address at CEDA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBC2K_cRn0E

Need 'best quality' AI 

Speaking at the event, Richard Kimber, co-founder and CEO at Daisee, an Australian AI start-up, backed Dr Finkel’s proposed certification, saying the value was in “Australia having the best quality AI”. Mr Kimber also encouraged governments to consider the widespread adoption of the technology to provide better service.  Deborah Walker, head of automation at IBM, told the event that organisations must “rethink skill development” as AI continues to disrupt the workforce globally.  “We face an imminent and profound transformation in the workforce and must help students and employees and communities to prepare for it,” she said. Ms Walker cited recent IBM data showing 20 per cent of leaders said they had yet to plan to retrain or re-skill their workforce. One in three business leaders agreed they will need to create new jobs for AI technology in the future but most admitted they did not yet have the talent to support AI capabilities, that report found. “We need to provide multiple opportunities for those skills to be acquired throughout a person’s life,” she said.
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[post_title] => Government should lead AI certification: Finkel  [post_excerpt] => Australia’s Chief Scientist has urged the Federal Government to use its purchasing power to reward ethical conduct by providers of artificial intelligence.  [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => government-should-lead-ai-certification-finkel [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-22 09:19:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-21 23:19:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30394 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30359 [post_author] => 674 [post_date] => 2018-05-21 09:42:14 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-20 23:42:14 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30360" align="aligncenter" width="659"] NSW is applying the principles of digital transformation to procurement, Dawn Routledge tells CeBIT.[/caption] A new procurement platform to be launched on 31 May is part of a broader approach to making it easier to do business with the NSW Government, its most senior ICT executive says. The NSW Government’s buy.nsw procurement platform, which is to be launched at the end of this month, aims to “take the friction out of connecting buyers and sellers,” according to Dawn Routledge, acting government information and digital officer. But it also signals how the State Government is trying to “apply the principles of digital transformation to procurement processes,” she says, adding the aim is to have robust but faster on-boarding for vendors and single registration to sell to different government agencies. In addition, the government’s digital.nsw website creates visibility around the pipeline of digital projects and activities across government, “which again is something our suppliers often talk about,” Ms Routledge told the CeBIT conference last week. “There are nearly 150 projects accessible via that site,” she said. During consultations on ways to nurture innovation, industry said it wanted more of an opportunity to help solve problems confronting government, Ms Routledge said. “In other words, put the problems to market and tap into the innovation in the supply chain and the start-up space.” That prompted the government to launch its innovation challenges in which a range of stakeholders including researchers, non-government agencies, corporates and start-ups pitch ideas to help tackle social challenges. One of these is the youth employment innovation challenge, which seeks to find new ways to help young people aged 15 to 24 to find work. “We’ve had 30 applicants who have been shortlisted. There was a pitch session earlier in the month and from that process we’ll identify the strongest ideas and then we’ll start supporting them through an incubation process,” she said. The program ran twice last year with challenges seeking new ideas on accessible cities and ways to reduce domestic violence reoffending rates. One of the ideas that came through the domestic violence challenge is now at pilot stage and had been garnering interest from other areas, Ms Routledge said. [caption id="attachment_30361" align="aligncenter" width="636"] The digital.nsw website outlines the pipeline of projects.[/caption]

Digital licences

Elsewhere, the NSW Government is now moving to roll out digital driver licences across the state following a trial in Dubbo that has seen 1,400 take part since November. Some 140,000 digital licences have been issued since the government started its digital licences work in 2016 in areas such as fishing, boating and responsible service of alcohol, Ms Routledge said. Last Monday the NSW Government confirmed it will introduce legislation into parliament this month to enable state-wide rollout of digital driver licences.   
More from the CeBIT conference: 
[post_title] => NSW looks to market for solutions to wicked problems [post_excerpt] => A new procurement platform to be launched on 31 May is part of a broader approach to making it easier to do business with the NSW Government, its most senior ICT executive says. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => nsw-looks-to-market-for-solutions-to-wicked-problems [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-25 10:03:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-25 00:03:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30359 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 14 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 31248 [post_author] => 674 [post_date] => 2018-07-20 10:01:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-20 00:01:47 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_31250" align="aligncenter" width="707"] Cities minister Paul Fletcher with start-up founder Rick Swancott at the launch of Lake Macqurie's IoT network.[/caption] Partnership between a council, an economic development company and a network provider delivers Australia’s first smart city network across a local government area. Lake Macquarie City’s Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) for the Internet of Things is also believed to be the first to be used simultaneously by start-ups, small and large businesses and government agencies to build new technologies and use data for decision-making. The network provides 100 per cent commercial-grade IoT coverage to all populations across the local government area, which spans some 650 square kilometres. A partnership between Dantia, the economic development company for Lake Macquarie City, Lake Macquarie City Council and IoT provider The National Narrowband Network has delivered the network without any Commonwealth Government funding. The network is commercially funded for a 20-year contract period through the partnership between Dantia, Lake Macqurie City Council and NNN. Peter Francis, CEO of Dantia, said the new network was a “game-changer” for the region. “We were looking at the infrastructure that is required to drive jobs into the future, how we could create a point of difference for Lake Macquarie to be a place of choice for businesses to either do proof of concept or transfer a business to the region,” Mr Francis told Government News. While much of the current discussion around smart cities has focused on their “infinite possibility,” Mr Francis said the group had a “pragmatic focus” on how it could assist with the delivery of jobs. He said other smart city initiatives in Australia tend to be centred around a main street, focus on civic and government applications and are typically funded by the Commonwealth, which means the life of the project is invariably limited. “If commercial operators can’t use it then it’ll forever be a burden on the public purse. We were interested in a partnership between government, innovators and businesses in finding a commercial way to drive this,” he said. Dantia’s research and engagement with groups like IoT Australia suggested there are typically three stages to establishing smart cities – the infrastructure being used for civic use, then by start-ups, and finally by commercial entities. “It’s accepted in some ways that it’ll be a three-phase approach. We asked why couldn't we do all three in one go? And that's what we’ve done,” said Mr Francis.

Partnership delivers 20-year contract

Having analysed the market, Dantia identified National Narrowband Network as its preferred provider and started to work with the company on the project. “We looked at where some of the real problems were and one of the key issues has been real estate and getting the locations to install the gateways, which are the physical infrastructure that everything flows through.” As the owner of property and facilities across the LGA, Lake Macqurie City Council was quickly identified as an ideal partner in providing the necessary real estate. “We created a commercial arrangement where the real estate would be provided at a discount in return for the civic users being able to access the system at a discount of 96 per cent of the current market rate, for the life of the agreement,” he said. In terms of start-ups, NNN was able to provide a test network free of charge which the partnership has secured as an exclusive offer for the region. Mr Francis said:
“It’s one thing to test something in the main street but to be able to test it across a whole city, on state roads, main roads and local roads, in urban and suburban environments, even in semi-rural and rural areas, in industrial and manufacturing neighbourhoods as well as the CBD – that’s a real point of difference."
The network is also targeting commercial operators, with businesses and corporations receiving a 15 per cent discount if they establish operations in Lake Macqurie City. “All of this without any Federal Government Funding,” Mr Francis said. “We engaged with the local council to help realise the value of its assets to drive that agenda of job creation and investment within the region.” Major entities such as the University of Technology Sydney, Hunter Water, Slingshot, Ampcontrol and RestTech have already signed up to use the new network.

Showcase for other smart cities 

NNN chief executive Rob Zagarella said the Lake Macquarie network would be a showcase for what cities around Australia could achieve with IoT. “We’ll be able to support businesses in the area to get their projects up and running quickly and effectively, while also enabling the city to scale important services like smart waste management,” Mr Zagarella said. Smart cities require both a carrier-grade network and a device and data platform to convert data from many different types of devices into a common format, he said. “That’s when you start creating real knowledge and outcomes that can improve the quality of life for citizens,” he added.
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ICT

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