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                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30329" align="aligncenter" width="620"] Angus Taylor discusses plans to reduce cyber incidents to zero at CeBIT yesterday.[/caption]

Cyber Security Minister says all governments must work together to abolish cyber threats, while a leading cyber-defence CEO points to managing risk in the supply chain as a key issue.

The Minister for Cyber Security Angus Taylor says the Commonwealth will work to reduce cyber threats to zero through a focus on critical IT infrastructure, collaborating with the private sector, tackling cybercrime and raising public awareness.

Minister Taylor said that collaboration with the private sector “will be a major theme in the coming months” as part of a broader bid to tackle cybercrime nationally and within the federal government which he says “starts with the way we invest and procure.”

“The collective power of agencies is critical. It is clear that government can’t succeed on this alone, we need to work across all agencies in the federal government, the state and local government, the private sector and international agencies and governments if we want to succeed,” he told the CeBIT conference yesterday. 

The sophistication of cyber threats was a key topic at the conference, with Minister Taylor pointing to the global and pervasive nature of threats.

“It’s clear to me that if we’re facing adversaries that are increasingly global, well-organised and adept that we have to combat them with the exact same capabilities,” he said.

The move follows a series of measures aimed at tackling cyber threats, including the opening of the Home Affairs ministry, which Minister Taylor said aimed to encourage an inter-departmental approach, as well as the new 24/7 cyber security centre in Canberra.

CEO: minimising risk in the supply chain

Symantec CEO Greg Clark told the Sydney audience that tackling cyber attacks within supply chains is “one of the most relevant things” currently on his desk, saying the industry is at its highest risk level in decades. A recent Symantec report found a 200 per cent spike in software supply chain attacks, where attackers inject malware implants into the supply chain to infiltrate unsuspecting organisations. These breaches are often sub-tier suppliers of critical IT components or software within systems or products. [caption id="attachment_30330" align="alignright" width="300"] Symantec's CEO Greg Clark speaking yesterday.[/caption] Speaking to Government News on the sidelines of the event, Mr Clark said that managing risks in outsourced IT infrastructure and through the supply chain was a key  issue. When asked how the Australian Government can minimise risk in the supply chain through procurement, he recommended a risk framework to “buy risk down and lay risk off.” “With a risk framework we can assign accountability to the operators to effect change that reduces that risk," he said. In 2014, the United Kingdom introduced legislation to improve procurement processes within government by mandating a new cyber security standard for suppliers. The standard, which offers two levels of assurances, means all organisation must comply with the standard if bidding for government contracts. According to Mr Clark, negotiating terms with suppliers in the procurement process is another crucial standard to mitigate cyber risks. “I always tell people to be careful when you push seriously low risk terms on your supplier because it only takes one of those to put it out of business and if they’re doing it with hundreds of companies that’s risky,” he said.

New report: spike in government attacks

Meanwhile, a report released yesterday claims the government sector is the fourth most vulnerable to cyber attacks, suffering 13 per cent of all known cyber attacks over the past year, up 5 per cent from the previous year. Findings from Dimension Data’s NTT Security’s Global Threat Intelligence Report 2018 found an increase in cyber attacks targeting the supply chain. Mark Thomas, the group's CTO for cybersecurity, said supply chains are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyber threats. “There are numerous moving parts to supply chains and outsourcing companies, which often run on disparate and out-dated network infrastructures, making them easy prey to cyber threat actors. Service providers and outsourcers are also a prime target, due to their trade secrets and intellectual property," he said. The report found that while Australia is a frequent target, it’s also a major source of attacks. It found that 66 per cent of attacks on the financial sector in the Asia Pacific region originated from Australia.
Comment below to have your say on this story.
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[post_title] => Cyber security: collaboration key as government sets sights on zero risks [post_excerpt] => Cyber Security Minister says all governments must work together to abolish cyber threats, while a leading cyber-defence CEO points to managing risk in the supply chain as a key issue. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => cyber-security-collaboration-key-as-government-sets-sights-on-zero-risks [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-18 10:44:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-18 00:44:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30328 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29954 [post_author] => 674 [post_date] => 2018-04-17 10:18:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-04-17 00:18:21 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_29955" align="aligncenter" width="569"] A new national taskforce will coordinate recovery from natural disasters.[/caption] New national resilience taskforce welcomed but councils seek federal mitigation program to fund local recovery. In the wake of recent floods, cyclones and fires that have impacted communities across Australia, the Commonwealth has announced a National Resilience Taskforce to reduce the impacts of natural disasters. Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Angus Taylor said the new taskforce, to sit within the Home Affairs Department, would lead national reforms to reduce the impact and financial burden of disasters on communities and the economy. Natural disasters are estimated to have cost the Australian economy on average more than $18 billion per year for the past 10 years. The taskforce’s first priority will be to develop a five-year national disaster mitigation framework in consultation with state and territory governments and the private sector, including insurance and finance, to limit risks, provide prevention strategies and improve decision-making. It will also establish a risk information capability framework to equip decision-makers with the knowledge they need to prepare for natural disasters. "The Australian Government is committed to working with the states and territories to prepare for future disasters, and will continue to provide more than $26 million per year for Natural Disaster Resilience,” said Minister Taylor. The taskforce will be led by former director general of Emergency Management Australia Mark Crosweller and will have 20 staff from across the Home Affairs Portfolio.

Need for ‘mitigation program’

While the new taskforce is welcome, David O’Loughlin, president of the Australian Local Government Association, said that emergency planning arrangements needed a stronger focus on resilience planning to strengthen local capacity. “There needs to be a greater emphasis on community engagement and a better understanding of the diversity, needs, strengths and vulnerabilities within communities,” he told Government News. Local governments typically know what infrastructure will likely be impacted in a natural disaster but federal funding cuts, rate capping and other budget pressures made it challenging for most councils to undertake infrastructure maintenance let alone disaster proofing, he said. ALGA’s 2018-19 Budget submission called for a Commonwealth investment of $200 million per year for four years in a targeted “natural disaster mitigation program.”  “A partnership to fund a targeted mitigation approach would be most welcome and would pay dividends for all levels of government over time. “Disasters do not impact everyone in the same way, and it is often our vulnerable community members who are the hardest hit,” Cr O’Loughlin said.
COMING SOON: Government News takes an in-depth look at community recovery from natural disasters - appearing next month.
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.  
Sign up to the Government News newsletter.
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The Australian Government has released its first National Cities Performance Framework. It is a major report that provides a snapshot of the productivity and progress of Australia’s largest 21 cities, including Western Sydney. The Government says it is the first official framework of its kind in Australia and “brings together critical data on our cities in an easily accessible online format.” Cities are compared across a number of key measures: jobs and skills, infrastructure and investment, liveability and sustainability, innovation and digital opportunities, governance, planning and regulation, and housing. Detailed comparisons of all cities across dozens of metrics are available in a separate dashboard. Some highlights from the report and dashboard:

Housing affordability

  • Best: Mackay, Townsville, Darwin
  • Worst: Sunshine Coast, Sydney, Wollongong

Share of jobs within 30 minutes by car

Seven cities are on 100 percent: Albury-Wodonga, Ballarat, Bendigo, Cairns, Launceston. Mackay and Wollongong. Sydney is worst, followed by Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

Life expectancy at birth

  • Highest: Melbourne and Sydney (83.7) Perth (83.4).
  • Lowest: Albury-Wodonga (80.8), Launceston and Cairns (80.9)

Languages other than English spoken at home

  • Most: Sydney (35.6 percent), Melbourne (32.2 percent)
  • Least: Bendigo (5.1 percent), Sunshine Coast (5.2%)

Dwellings with access to greenspace

  • Highest: Canberra (99.0 percent), Wollongong (93.5 percent), Newcastle (90.2%)
  • Lowest: Toowoomba (66.3 percent), Ballarat (69.0 percent), Sunshine Coast (70.2%)

Workers in knowledge-intensive services

  • Highest: Sydney (21.1 percent), Melbourne (16.5 percent), Canberra (15.4%)
  • Lowest: Albury-Wodonga (5.0%), Mackay (5.5 percent), Toowoomba (7.4 percent)
The Performance Framework is designed to assist all levels of government, industry and the community to better target, monitor and evaluate cities policy and investments, including the new City Deals. The Framework draws on a range of Australian and international performance measured, data sources and literature. The Government says it consulted widely on the Framework, through workshops, roundtables, bilateral meetings and an online forum established for the Cities Reference Group. The Performance Framework Interim Report was released for public feedback in July 2017. The Government intends to update it annually and conduct a major review every three years. “Australia’s success in the 21st  century economy depends on our cities, suburbs and regional centres,” said Angus Taylor, Assistant Minister for Cities, releasing the report. “Australia’s most valuable resource is our human capital. Our people – their ideas, skills, experience and enterprise – are the driving force of productivity growth and our future prosperity. “Great cities attract, retain and develop talent – our bright minds and businesses – facilitating job creation and supporting growth. Increasingly our cities compete on a global stage, and the liveability of a city can be the determining factor in a city’s success.” The report is available here. The online dashboard is available here. [post_title] => Major new report compares Australia’s cities [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => major-new-report-compares-australias-cities [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-12-08 10:03:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-12-07 23:03:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28752 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28646 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-11-27 13:53:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-11-27 02:53:41 [post_content] => The Federal Government has announced plans to legislate a national ‘Consumer Data Right’ bill, which will allow customers of banks, utilities and telecommunications companies better access to their transactional data. Under the proposed legislation consumers will own the data, not the companies they are dealing with. This will make it much easier for people to change suppliers.

“Australians will be able to compare offers, get access to cheaper products and plans to help them ‘make the switch’ and get greater value for money,“ said Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor, announcing the bill. “It is the biggest reform to consumer law in a generation.”

Mr Taylor said that the Government is pursuing the “very simple” idea that customers should own their own data. “It is a powerful idea and a very important one,” he said. “Australians have been missing out because it has been too hard to switch to something better. You may be able to access your recent banking transactions, or compare this quarter’s energy bill to the last, but it isn’t quick or easy to work out whether you can get a better deal elsewhere.”

The proposed Consumer Data Right legislation was one of 41 recommendations from the Productivity Commission’s ‘Data Availability and Use’ inquiry, tabled in parliament in May 2017.

The Government’s formal response to the inquiry will be published in coming weeks.

“It won’t be far down the track when you can simply tap your smartphone to switch from one bank to another, to a cheaper Internet plan, or between energy companies. Government is lifting the lid on competition in consumer services. Technology is the enabler,” Mr Taylor said.

He said the Consumer Data Right will be established sector-by-sector, beginning in the banking, energy and telecommunications sectors.

Utilities will be required to provide standard, comparable, easy-to-read digital information that third parties can readily access. The Government plans to introduce the legislation to give effect to these reforms will be brought forward in 2018.

The banks in particular have been resisting calls for greater data transparency. But the Productivity Commission’s repor recommended a new Data Sharing and Release Act, and the creation of the position of Data Custodian to guide and monitor the Government’s use of and access to data. The Government had asked that the Productivity Commission look at the benefits and costs of making public and private datasets more available, and at ‘how consumers can use and benefit from access to data, particularly data about themselves.’ The report recommended:
  • that the new Act should replace all restrictions to access and use contained in existing Federal and State legislation, and the identification of ‘National Interest Datasets’ that would be resourced by the Federal Government Commonwealth as national assets.
  • a data sharing and release structure that “indicates to all data custodians a strong and clear cultural shift towards better data use that can be dialled up for the sharing or release of higher-risk datasets.”
  • a suite of ‘Accredited Release Authorities’, which it describes as sectoral hubs of expertise to enable the ongoing maintenance of, and streamlined access to, National Interest Datasets and other datasets.
  • a streamlining of ethics committee approval processes, which would “provide more timely access to identifiable data for research and policy development purposes.”
The report generated more than 300-submissions, and involved over a hundred consultations and meetings. Productivity Commission Chairman Peter Harris has become well known for his interest in the more efficient use of data, and in particular data generated from public sources, as a driver for improved productivity. The report stressed the many benefits of open data. “There are incremental costs of more open data access and use, including those associated with better risk management and alterations to business data systems … but they should be substantially outweighed by the opportunities.” The report was strong on ensuring consumer rights are protected. “Governments that ignore potential gains through consumer data rights will make the task of garnering social licence needed for other data reforms more difficult. Decoupling elements of this Framework runs the risk of limiting benefits to, and support from, the wider public.” The Productivity Commission report can be found here. [post_title] => Consumers to own their own data, with new bill [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => consumers-data-new-bill [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-12-01 08:49:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-30 21:49:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28646 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28510 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-11-13 06:13:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-11-12 19:13:00 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_28511" align="alignnone" width="300"] Angus Taylor being porous (Wikimedia)[/caption] The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has set up an email hotline for technology providers who have difficulties dealing with the Federal Government.

Speaking to industry at the National Press Club on 10 November, Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation Angus Taylor said the DTA has a strong focus on engaging with businesses.

“We are constantly looking for ways to deliver benefits more quickly and effectively. We have made it clear how important the partnership with industry is for us. We have to be porous.”

Mr Taylor said he would aggressively seek solutions for problems faced by businesses. “If the industry uses this service well, it can be incredibly powerful.”

The email address is confidentialprocurement@dta.gov.au “We have to make government more porous.” There’s that ‘porous’ word again. It means something through which liquid or air may pass, as opposed to the more widely used ‘transparent’, which is something that lets light through. We assume he means much the same thing, and that a porous government is one that listens to people. “We have to make those relationships with industry stronger, not just in IT, but right across government. “That is why we have established a confidential email inbox for industry to highlight barriers to procurement, innovation and delivery. They will be seen by my office, and by the DTA. “It is your chance to say when things aren't going as well as they should. We need that feedback. I will personally review every one of those emails.” In his talk at the Press Club Mr Taylor also reviewed major government ICT projects and reforms to ICT procurement and investment, and developments in digital identity management for the myGov service. “In the last 12 months we have delivered an ICT procurement reform agenda. We have reviewed the entire ICT project estate three times. We have reviewed around 20 new projects at the pre-investment stage that has saved nearly $3 billion in projected costs. “We have made major steps in addressing the problems we had with myGov, and we have delivered a vision for a modern digital identity system.” MyGov, the Federal Government’s digital identification system, has been beset with delays and technical problems. It does seem to be improving, perhaps because it is more porous. “When I first entered the job, myGov was not where we wanted it to be and to be honest the relationship with the old DTO  was not where I wanted it to be either.” Of course, at the time we were told everything was going well. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. (The DTO was the Digital Transformation Office, which was replaced by the DTA last year). “But over the intervening period a process of heavy engagement between ministers, senior executives and delivery teams has given us some stunning results. “It wasn't always easy and we had some robust debates along the way – but we have been working together towards a common goal in a way that hasn’t happened in the past.” “By focusing on the user, we were able to increase MyGov usage by 100,000 logins a day and maintain its availability at 100 percent at crucial times. It now has a successful log on statistic of over 97 percent, in line with well performing banks.” Mr Taylor outlined the Government’s vision for MyGov. “The myGov of today is not the myGov of tomorrow. It will evolve to be both a respected brand and critical enabler to the common platforms across government, across governance and ultimately across the economy that will underpin our modern digital experience. “Look at the great Internet success stories. All of them have created an environment where your identity is key and they offer a smooth user friendly experience. My favourite example for this is PayPal. “Millions of people use PayPal every day to prove their identity and make a payment. And the vast majority of them never navigate to the PayPal site. It is merely part of an automated user journey from the online shopping site that they know. “A federated, enabling view of identity is the right view and it's what we are delivering.” And it’s porous! [post_title] => Tell us your problems, we're porous, Taylor tells ICT industry [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => tell-us-problems-porous-taylor-tells-ict-industry [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-17 10:56:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-16 23:56:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28510 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28314 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-10-18 10:07:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-17 23:07:40 [post_content] =>

The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has released a YouTube video showing how to create its new Govpass digital identity. The video was announced in a blog by Felicity Hitchcock, a product manager at the DTA. Govpass will replace the existing 100 point identifier used to access Federal Government services. It is still in its beta development phase and is being trialled with selected users. The DTA is working with Australia Post to integrate the system with that agency’s existing Digital iD program. The Government intends Govpass to be universal digital ID for access all government services. It hopes to extend the system to the states and to private industry. Full scale implementation is planned for late 2018 or 2019. The YouTube video shows how a Govpass ID can be created online using documents such as a Medicare card, passport, drivers license and other information. It is, we are told, ‘trusted and secure’, and has had ‘hundreds of hours of user testing’. The documents are verified by the issuer. For example, a birth certificate will be verified by the department of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the issuing state. The final step of the five-minute process is to verify a photograph of the user. Using the camera on a computer, phone or tablet, a number of photographs are taken. These are submitted for comparison with an existing photographic identification such as a passport, which is held by the Attorney-General’s Department’s Facial Verification System – the same system that we were told just last week would be used only for antiterrorism. "The Australian Government has more than 30 different logins for digital services,” said Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation Angus Taylor, announcing the availability of video. “Not only does this create extra work for users, it represents unnecessary expense for agencies.” Mr Taylor said no details from the documents, or the photograph, are retained by Govpass. They are verified and discarded. “Face-to-face contact for government services will still be available, and an offline solution is being designed which will allow those who don’t have access to the appropriate documents to create a digital identity.” The YouTube video can be viewed here.   [post_title] => DTA releases Govpass YouTube video [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => dta-releases-govpass-youtube-video [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-20 02:47:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-19 15:47:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28314 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27225 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-05-25 15:19:03 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-25 05:19:03 [post_content] =>   Last weekend’s myGov makeover has improved the troubled website but has the federal government missed an opportunity to cheer up myGov users after all the past frustrations they have endured? In a joint announcement last week, Digital Transformation Minister Angus Taylor and Human Services Minister Alan Tudge, said the website overhaul made myGov easier to navigate, less information dense and more responsive when accessed on smartphones and tablets. The government claimed that it was now easier for users to sign in and to unlock their own accounts when they had been suspended, reducing incorrect logins by 37 per cent. The changes were ostensibly in response to the rapid expansion of the numbers of people using myGov, around ten million, while log-ins doubled over the last two years to 242,000 per day. The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) said it had conducted ‘hundreds of hours of research’ into the experiences of users and responded to their complaints, including that myGov used difficult language, complex instructions and frequently left them locked out of their accounts. Joe Russell, Director of User Engagement at Victorian company Buzinga, which specialises in web and mobile app development, acknowledged the changes were positive but said that the government had missed the chance to speed up and really improve the experience for users. “It is basically functional: finally. Before it was hard to do any of the core things it was meant to do,” Mr Russell said. “It’s easier to use, yes, but there are still major issues. I wouldn’t call it a huge leap. “Reducing incorrect logins by 37 per cent. I wouldn’t have thought that was something to brag about. Being able to log in is an assumption you make when you go into any site.” While the DTA website talks about ‘reimagining’ the user experience and putting users’ needs first, Mr Russell said this had not been done to any great extent. He said simple fixes that could have streamlined things for users had been ignored, such as not having to enter the same data twice and the cursor automatically moving to the next field to enter data. Another deficiency was the lack of loading indicators after users submitted a form, so they were unsure of whether the form was loading or not. This often led to users hitting the back button and resetting and clearing fields they had already completed. Mr Russell questioned whether the project had carried out sufficient usability testing. This is where an ‘average’ user is given tasks to complete while they are timed and any difficulties noted and comments taken on board to measure their experience and suggest improvements. “It does what it claims to do. It’s an improvement, I will give them that” but he said the DTA had missed the chance to speed up user interaction with myGov and make data entry easier and faster. “Usability testing could have solved these small things. This is basic best practice,” he said. “All these little annoyances can be resolved and hopefully will be next time.” The DTA has said the website changes were a result of extensive research conducted in more than 20 metropolitan, regional and rural locations. The agency’s website says this research included usability testing, as well as visits to shopfront sites, support staff interviews and testing with users of assistive technology. A DTA spokesperson said that any changes needed to be carefully considered and tested with users. "A sensible approach, and one that's consistent with the Digital Service Standard, is to make iterative improvements based on user research," said the spokesperson. "The latest release builds on changes made last year. User research is continuing and will guide future improvements." But just as myGov’s usability had not come on in leaps and bounds, Mr Russell said the look and feel of the website had changed slightly but was not ground breaking, “It’s basically black text on a white background. It’s as vanilla as you can get”, he said. Nor was replacing service icons with text a positive change for people who were visually impaired, elderly or dyslexic and he disagreed with the assertion that member services logos and the Australian Government crest were more prominent. MyGov was launched in 2013 to provide a single access point for ten different agencies providing services including Medicare, tax, Centrelink, the National Disability Insurance Scheme and My Health Record. The rollout which occurred last weekend, was a joint project between the Department of Human Services, the Digital Transformation Agency and the Australian Tax Office. It seems that the question posed on the DTA website, ‘what could good look like’ has morphed into ‘what could barely adequate look like’? Further comment from DTA and DHS to follow.  [post_title] => MyGov verdict: functional (just) [post_excerpt] => ‘Little annoyances’ remain for users. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => mygov-verdict-functional-just [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-25 16:41:02 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-25 06:41:02 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27225 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27192 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-05-23 12:20:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-23 02:20:08 [post_content] =>   The federal government’s troubled myGov website has had a digital makeover to make it more intuitive to navigate, nicer to look at and easier to access using mobile phones or tablets. The overhaul was made more pressing by the large jump in traffic to the government services portal over the last two years. The federal government said that myGov had 10 million users and dealt with more than 242,000 logins every day: twice the number of logins from just two years’ ago. It is a pivotal website that millions of Australian must interact with daily, dealing as it does with a huge range of services. MyGov was launched in 2013 to provide a single access point for ten different agencies providing services including Medicare, tax, Centrelink, the National Disability Insurance Scheme and My Health Record. The government has recognised that any failure of myGov or rising customer frustration with the system can be a very public and vocal affair. Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor said in March this year: “The public will ultimately judge us when they go on to the myGov website, when they pay their tax or ask for a refund, when they come through immigration, when they are engaging with the industry portfolio as a small business, they will judge us on how that goes. “They’ll accept that there are speed humps along the way. But they will be unforgiving if that experience doesn’t continually improve.” The changes were in response to ‘hundreds of hours of user research’ which revealed common complaints about the website, including the difficult language used, confusing instructions and dumping large swathes of information on users.   People also complained about how often they were locked out of their accounts and the difficulty in getting these unlocked. The joint statement by Mr Taylor and Human Services Minister Alan Tudge about the myGov revamp said this problem had been addressed to make signing in easier and to allow users to unlock their own accounts once they had been suspended.  They claimed the changes had resulted in incorrect logins being reduced by 37 per cent. Mr Taylor said: “We listened and we got it. The new look myGov also demonstrates how the DTA can partner with other agencies and departments to transfer skills and transform delivery.” The sign-in process had already been tinkered with over the past year to show users passwords as they typed them (to cut down on login failures and account suspensions) and allowing people to use email or mobile numbers instead of just alphanumeric usernames. Mr Tudge said the government had incorporated user feedback and collaborated with other departments to fast-tracked changes. “Our investment in myGov is transforming the way people do business with government - making life easier for 10 million Australians,” Mr Tudge said. “In response to user feedback, we’ve also made it easier for users to find and access the services they need.” The rollout, which occurred over the weekend, was a joint project between the Department of Human Services and the Digital Transformation Agency and the Australian Tax Office. The government said the Discovery and Alpha phases were completed by the Digital Transformation Agency while the prototype stage and the beta product were a partnership between the ATO and DHS. [post_title] => MyGov: “we listened and we got it” says minister after digital makeover [post_excerpt] => Users double over two years. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => mygov-listened-got-says-minister-digital-makeover [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-25 09:45:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-24 23:45:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27192 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27053 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-05-05 11:52:29 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-05 01:52:29 [post_content] =>   Talking data: Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor. Pic: YouTube.      The federal government’s Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor, put data at the heart of transforming how Australians deal with the government in a speech to public servants this week but he did avoided any talk of how matching datasets can cause mayhem, as it did in the recent Centrelink robo-debt debacle.   Mr Taylor said data was essential to ensuring “efficient payments or preventative compliance” when he spoke at the Chief Data Analytics Officer Public Sector Forum earlier this week (Wednesday). The government’s online compliance intervention (OCI), which began in June last year, caused an avalanche of complaints from distressed Centrelink clients, many of whom found it difficult to get through to a Human Services human being to help them resolve the issue. At one point, up to 20,000 people a week were receiving debt notices. The notices were automatically generated if a discrepancy was found between Tax Office data and benefits paid. Mr Taylor told the forum: “Now when we mention compliance people immediately think of debt collecting but what I'm talking about is making sure the payment that goes out the door is right. “It's a fundamentally important service delivery tool for the citizen and for many years and across both sides of government beneficiaries of payments have been incurring debts which often are unintended.” He called it “a big problem for citizens and a big problem for government” because every dollar paid out incorrectly to claimants cost more to recoup. But he steered clear of name checking the Centrelink robo-debt crisis, which blew up before Christmas last year, after thousands of benefit claimants, past and present, received letters asking them to explain a discrepancy between ATO data and their Centrelink benefits or pay back a chunk of money. A Commonwealth Ombudsman report later criticised the Department of Human Services for placing “unreasonable” expectations on claimants and communicating poorly with them but did not condemn the data matching process itself or question its accuracy. Mr Taylor extolled the virtues of the government’s Geocoded-National Address File as he spoke, adding that the file enabled correct payments and tackled fraud. “There can be zero error or fraud from either the beneficiary or the public servant processing the claim. But because of an inaccurate dataset we could make the wrong payment,” he said. “So improving the quality of our information has immediate and substantial benefit to both.” After the Ombudsman’s inquiry, DHS agreed to use registered post to contact customers, as some letters never reached their recipients. Despite the problems caused by robo debt and the online Census meltdown in August, which he said had taught the government ‘real lessons’, Mr Taylor did not resile from putting technology and data front and centre of the government’s service improvements. One of his top priorities, he said, was “a smooth easy log on experience and the ability to streamline your identities with government”, citing GovPass and my Gov 2 as good examples of achieving this.  “The way I think about technology transforming customer service is broad. It's not just portals and services, although those things are important,”Mr Taylor told the forum. “The delivery of a high quality application programming interface has just as much potential to serve the needs of a customer as any other project.” Mr Taylor praised data.gov.au, the national open data portal containing over 20,000 datasets, and the NationalMap’s geospatial datasets. “We firmly believe it is time to build on our initial success and transform how government uses data - from what remains a cottage industry - into a central plank of how government works.” “To do that we must focus on three main areas: analytics, policy problems and efficient payments.” He placed ‘smaller agile projects’ over ‘big traditional waterfall projects’ and said that research of 50,000 projects internationally showed that only 3 per cent of large projects were untroubled, compared with 58 per cent of smaller agile projects. Mr Taylor said the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) had more powers to review and monitor projects than the federal government had ever done before. “This is a critical point – no government of either stripe has had the strategic overview that this government is now conducting into the Australian people's multi-billion-dollar investment.” [post_title] => Digital Transformation Minister talks data, avoids Centrelink robo debt [post_excerpt] => Says DTA's powers at their height. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => digital-transformation-minister-talks-data-avoids-centrelink-robo-debt [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-05 12:12:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-05 02:12:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27053 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26869 [post_author] => 667 [post_date] => 2017-04-11 09:16:48 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-10 23:16:48 [post_content] => Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor, explores spatial data in virtual reality at  Locate17.   The launch of a new Location Information Knowledge Platform (or LINK for short) delivers an exciting new era of open access to essential spatial datasets across all levels of government and Australia’s different states and territories. LINK was announced last week at the Locate17 and Digital Earth Symposium held in Sydney, and creates simplified access to a wealth of fundamental spatial datasets. Before the advent of LINK, access to these data could only occur by conducting extensive searches across nine jurisdictions of Australia. All up, LINK incorporates datasets from no less than 73 agencies: 26 federal agencies; 40 state and territory-based agencies; 4 commercial agencies; and 3 non-jurisdictional agencies. LINK is already up and running to deliver open public location datasets via cloud services to all users. It takes the conceptual Foundation Spatial Data Framework (FSDF), first published in 2012, and delivers a comprehensive online knowledge base. The extensive range of FSDF datasets already available via LINK help define locations and spatial extent of a range of data across ten broad themes:
  1. Geocoded Addressing
  2. Administrative Boundaries
  3. Positioning
  4. Place Names
  5. Land Parcel and Property
  • Imagery
  • Transport
  • Water
  • Elevation and Depth
  • Land Cover
  Read 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] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26869 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24836 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2016-08-30 09:57:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-08-29 23:57:54 [post_content] => Paul Shetler_opt (1) Digital Transformation CEO Paul Shetler with Angus Taylor and the Digital Marketplace Team.   A new digital marketplace will make it easier for smaller businesses to compete for $5 billion in Commonwealth Government IT contracts. The Digital Marketplace, set up by the Digital Transformation Office (DTO), matches suppliers with government departments and agencies on technology projects. Government buyers can now publish briefs for the work they need done, suppliers can respond to those briefs and two-way collaboration can take place. There are already more than 220 digital specialists on the Marketplace, after the DTO ran an open tender asking businesses to join a Digital Service Professionals panel in March this year. Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor launched the Digital Marketplace platform yesterday (Monday) and encouraged start-ups and SMEs were to be part of the new, streamlined IT procurement process. Taylor said the Marketplace simplified what had been a bureaucratic process for businesses to access government technology work. “This is an important change in the way government has traditionally done business,” Taylor said. “It’s a new platform for businesses and government to work together in a creative and flexible way. I congratulate the Digital Transformation Office on delivering the Beta product well ahead of schedule.” Another exciting aspect of the project, the Ideation platform, is the capacity for government buyers to outline the challenges they face and for suppliers to pitch problem solving ideas and develop new digital solutions for government clients. The Digital Marketplace will also use analytics, so that buyers and sellers can be rated on performance and the process and outcomes to be continually improved. Small IT businesses have applauded the project, which was designed in collaboration with the UK’s Government Digital Service. "We are an emerging interaction design consultancy that is very excited to be part of this initiative. We are looking forward to working with government for the first time.” Selim Ahmed, Bourne Digital. “Such a great initiative, can’t wait for it to go live.” Damion Brown, Data Runs Deep. Local, state and territory government buyers can also use the Digital Marketplace, provided they comply with any additional local procurement rules. The Digital Transformation Office is developing the Digital Marketplace as part of the Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda. Digital Marketplace Beta is now available at www.gov.au/marketplace   [post_title] => Digital marketplace for government tech procurement [post_excerpt] => Matching government with small business. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => new-digital-marketplace-government-tech-procurement [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-08-30 10:02:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-08-30 00:02:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=24836 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24785 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-08-23 10:41:09 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-08-23 00:41:09 [post_content] => close-up portrait of a beautiful sleeping baby on white   A digital trial at Queensland’s Gold Coast University Hospital has taken a weight off new parents’ shoulders and automatically enrolled their newborns in Medicare, the Medicare Safety Net and the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register. There were 786 newborns enrolled during the trial after their parents agreed to allow hospital data to be sent to the Department of Human Services, instead of having to plough through a six-page Medicare enrolment form or a Newborn Child Declaration that must be signed by their doctor or midwife and then lodged at a Government Centrelink or Medicare office. The trial began in April this year in a partnership between the Federal Government and Queensland Health Department. It links the basic data between the state hospital system and the federal Medicare system to make Medicare enrolment a snap, in an Australian first. Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge said the trial built on the government’s commitment to making life easier for people through innovative digital solutions. “This is about trying to make people’s interaction with government as simple and convenient as possible at every step,” Tudge said. “As a result of this trial, parents are spared from having to fill out a six-page document, getting the right signatures and then having to lodge it with Medicare. Tudge said the trial slashed the average time taken to enrol a baby from 35 days to six and also cut government processing time in half. Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor said the enrolment trial helped Australians deal with government as efficiently as possible. “With the mother’s consent, the trial uses hospital admission and birth records to seamlessly enrol newborns onto Medicare and the Medicare Safety Net,” Taylor said. “They are also added to the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register and parents are issued updated Medicare cards. The feedback is good so far, with 97 per cent of participating parents saying the process was convenient. The trial was driven by the Digital Transformation Office (DTO) and the expansion of the digital enrolment service is being considered. The DTO’s report on the project can be found here. [post_title] => Newborns automatically enrolled in Medicare [post_excerpt] => Digital trial paves the way. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => newborns-automatically-enrolled-medicare [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-08-23 10:41:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-08-23 00:41:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=24785 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24442 [post_author] => 671 [post_date] => 2016-07-18 20:59:27 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-18 10:59:27 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_24443" align="alignnone" width="287"]Frydenberg campaign_opt Environment & Energy: a Lycra Free Zone.[/caption]     When it comes to steady-as-she-goes reshuffles, it’s the subtle and incremental details that denote the real direction of the Turnbull ministry agenda for the parliamentary term ahead. That’s the take-out from the official cast list for 'Turnbull 2.0' after the Prime Minister survived a near death election after ruthlessly efficient negative campaigning from the Opposition inflicted far more damage than anticipated. Jobs and Growth? Most incumbent Ministers have kept their jobs, but there’s is anything but growth in government numbers essential to make policy into legislation. And you have to look right to the very end of the ministry list to see Turnbull’s real stamp of innovation.   Renewed Energy Listed literally last in the July 2016 class list, Victorian MP Josh Frydenberg has picked up what’s arguably the most eye opening ministry: Environment and Energy. The combination of those two policy areas under a single minister is clearly intended to send a firm message to stakeholders, industry and public servants. The message is this: what previously may have been opposing policy views must now pull together for a common good and a shared destiny. Sectoral cooperation must succeed sectoral conflict.If Tony Abbott went out of his way to punish the renewables sector through funding cuts and policies that favoured traditional energy sources like coal, gas and petroleum, Turnbull’s message is that both energy policy and industry needs look to a low emitting future to stay relevant. Sectoral cooperation must succeed sectoral conflict. If Tony Abbott went out of his way to punish the renewables sector through funding cuts and policies that favoured traditional energy sources like coal, gas and petroleum, Turnbull’s message is that both energy policy and the energy industry must look to a low emitting future to stay relevant. That's not so dumb. That's not dumb. Previously the portfolios had been split into Energy and Resources linking extraction, mining and generation while the development of the renewables industry was kept at bay by placing it in the Environment portfolio. Resources – read extraction and mining – now goes to ascendant Nationals Senator and former Barnaby Joyce staffer Senator Matt Canavan who also picks up the Northern Australia ministry for his talents and ambition. It’s a prescient move given the very public opposition of many farmers and Nationals to the encroachment of mining interests and polarising industries like Coal Seam Gas onto agricultural land. There is also a strong implicit message that any political debt owed to the mining industry following its relentless and generously funded anti-Mining Tax campaign during the Coalition's time in Opposition has been fully extinguished.   All regions are local Another Nationals winner is Senator Fiona Nash who – very logically – gets Local Government added to her duties alongside Regional Development. Local Government – which ministers to more than 500 Mayors under the thumb of state governments – had previously rested with Paul Fletcher, who now gets to devote his full concentration to Urban Infrastructure. Again, there’s a consistent theme in the new grouping of ministries along metropolitan and non-metropolitan lines. Having outlined a new federal interest in a coordinated approach to the development of cities and major infrastructure – think rail or major urban renewal – Turnbull has arguably returned policy for regional councils to a better fit.   Coordinating Infrastructure Although still in the outer ministry, Fletcher’s talent for understanding complex and technical industries and infrastructure can now be put to full use rather than being drained by distractions like unpopular local government mergers on his own doorstep. Fletcher’s role in demonstrating and selling Turnbull’s vision of cooperative federalism on the ground to voters – think opening roads and bridges – should also not be underestimated. Fletcher’s outer ministry also dovetails much more neatly with Angus Taylor’s Cities and Digital Transformation duties and provides two capable, younger and forward-looking junior ministers to help deliver coordinated national policies in areas that were previously largely left to the states. If both Taylor and Fletcher make headway, it will help Turnbull deliver on an agenda of national renewal and new industry creation that has so far proved evasive. The federal Local Government ministry didn't even get named under Abbott.   Defending votes South Australian MP Christopher Pyne’s move to Defence Industry Minister is about the strongest reflection yet of the urgent need to reinvigorate job creation in industrial sectors in transition. Pyne’s shift out of Industry, Innovation and Science (which goes to Greg Hunt) to building submarines, ships and warplanes may not be overtly upward, but it does underscore a rock solid intention to ensure that states like South Australia benefit directly from massive industries like military procurement in terms of jobs. Change management isn't always sexy, but it's crucial. Pyne’s other big challenge will be to ensure that big projects help create sustainable local industries like advanced manufacturing that can replace big losses in sectors like car building by spreading opportunities for local growth around, rather than just buying new kit off the shelf. The mission statement is clear: remake Defence into an industry that actually contributes to the economy rather than merely feeds off it. Shake down a few military industrial multinationals while you're at it. That’s no small task.   Revenue and Financial Services One of the real surprises in the mini-reshuffle is the replacement of the title of Assistant Treasurer with a sharply more contemporary post of Revenue and Financial Services – a role that goes to Kelly O’Dwyer who cedes Small Business to Michael McCormack. Fairly or otherwise, the relinquishment of one O’Dwyer’s previous ministries is certain to be regarded by many as a loss for the minister who remains in Cabinet. That interpretation could be missing the bigger policy picture. In recasting the former Assistant Treasurer ministry into a far more hands-on position, a capable plumber to ensure that the effectiveness of taxation works for the government and not against it isn't a glamour job, but it's prudent. In a digitised economy, where the physical location of payments and transactions have been routinely moved to minimise Treasury’s take, the development of effective revenue measures and mechanisms that tap into electronic commerce occurring in Australia remains a key challenge. Coupled with endemic transfer pricing and other tax minimisation techniques – of themselves part of the wider financial services market – it’s arguable a fully dedicated plumber minister unencumbered by other distractions has a better chance stemming revenue leakage. Given the Australian Taxation Office has already indicated it wants to eliminate the annual ritual of taxpayers filing an annual return through an agent when they have relatively simple affairs, an increase in the efficient targeting and collection of taxes could pay off in spades. If the likes of Google, Apple, Uber and other disruptors start paying the same level of tax locally as the industry players that came before them did it’s unlikely to hurt the Turnbull Government or O’Dwyer. [post_title] => Turnbull ministry tweaks quietly demolish Abbott’s policy agenda [post_excerpt] => Subtle, smart reforms lead rebuilding [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => turnbulls-ministry-tweaks-quietly-demolish-abbotts-policy-agenda [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-07-19 09:56:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-07-18 23:56:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=24442 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24199 [post_author] => 671 [post_date] => 2016-06-20 19:09:43 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-06-20 09:09:43 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_24200" align="alignnone" width="300"]a380_opt Badgerys Creek: fly-in, train out.[/caption]   The outer suburban areas of Australia’s major cities will become economically buoyant and easily commutable within just half-an-hour under a new City Deal model deal between Canberra the states and local councils which the Turnbull government says it wants to become the new model of suburbia. Roping in New South Wales Premier Mike Baird, the Prime Minister on Monday revealed what’s he claims will be “the single largest planning, investment and delivery partnership in the history of this nation” in the form of the “City Deal for Western Sydney” centred on the building of Sydney’s second airport at Badgerys Creek. It’s a project and policy that despite having mighty claims weighs in at an extra $100 million a year for sustainability projects from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation along with a pot of $50 million for councils to become “Smart Cities”. Despite the modest funding, it’s the Mr Turnbull and Mr Baird are selling the collaborative intent of the agreement between government’s different arms, along with business, as the real powerhouse to stimulate economic activity – rather than big ticket, shovel ready ‘Utopia’ style projects. “The Cities Deal will be centred around Western Sydney Airport – the most significant piece of infrastructure that will ever be built in the region - and passenger rail that will link people to the jobs created around the airport,” Mr Turnbull said. “The new airport alone will create 39,000 new jobs over the next 20 years, but we aim to do much better.” The vision is a conspicuous reversal of Tony Abbot’s resolute determination to keep Canberra out of public transport investments for the states, especially passenger and light rail, in favour of big new freeway builds like the controversial Westconnex project in Sydney. A major sticking point between the Baird Government and Canberra had been that the massive project had been given the green light by the Feds under Mr Abbott but initially did not include plans for a rail link, leaving it to the state government to pay for a mass transit connection to a federally administered facility. Those kinds of demarcation disputes now appear to have been buried with all three layers of government roped into maximising the flow on effects of the airport and rail investment to generate new growth in housing and jobs. “We aim to catalyse the additional 178,000 new homes and almost 200,000 new jobs that will be required to support the population directly around the airport – which is projected to reach over 1.4 million over this period,” Mr Turnbull and Mr Baird said in a joint statement. The elevation of major urban and city planning into the federal policy mix is a marked departure from traditional administrative and funding models in Australia that have usually used a ‘top down’ rather than ‘networked’ approach that often skewed towards the regions. “Australia’s cities are home to the majority of our population and responsible for more than 80 per cent of national economic output,” Mr Turnbull said, adding the Coalition “knows that smart policy, smart investment and smart technology are critical to secure the prosperity of our cities and a high standard of living for all Australians.” A persistent frustration of federal infrastructure funding policy has been that projects are often skewed towards state government interests and political demands because of the subordinate ranking of local governments and communities intended to be the ultimate beneficiaries. The ‘City Deal’ both Turnbull and Baird are advocating for a far more coordinated approach pledging that “the Federal and State governments will work with local councils to develop a vision for Western Sydney and agree on the goals, actions and investments required to deliver it.” “We will form a joint-Ministerial Council with ultimate accountability for the City Deal supported by officials from all three levels of government including direct representatives of the Prime Minister and Premier,” Mr Turnbull said. Stakeholders are so far applauding the move. “The recent report from Western Sydney University titled ‘Addressing Western Sydney’s Jobs Slide’ demonstrated that despite much rhetoric over recent years the number of jobs relative to population in Western Sydney is reducing. It will be important that specific job targets are set to give a focus to the decision-making process in the City Deal,” said Chris Johnson, chief executive of developer group Urban Taskforce. However he cautioned serious infrastructure money still needed to flow to make it a success. “It is essential that the City Deal comes with Federal Government funding to help establish essential infrastructure for the region. The most important infrastructure will be a fast rail connection between the Western Sydney Airport and the Sydney CBD via Liverpool and possibly Parramatta. It will also be important to have improved rail connections running north-south connecting Campbelltown, the Airport and Penrith,” Mr Johnson said. The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) also welcomed creation of targeted and comprehensive plan to tackle housing, employment and transport in Sydney’s West by the state and federal governments. “After strong campaigning, we are finally seeing a holistic approach to building Western Sydney, one that is supported by both state and federal governments, and works in partnership with local councils,” said Councillor Tony Hadchiti, president of WSROC. “Our region is growing so rapidly that we simply must have a plan for its development,” he said. “It seems like a simple thing, but a coordinated plan for the region, one that looks at where housing, employment and transport links are placed, and how they work together as a system is something that has been neglected in the past.” The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) said the commitment to fund smart, sustainable cities was a “step in the right direction.” “The Coalition has announced three new cities policies that have the potential to reshape our nation,” the GBCA’s chief executive, Romilly Madew, said. “We applaud the promise of $100 million for a Sustainable Cities Investment Fund, which would be delivered through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. “We are particularly pleased to see that funds would be invested in a range of projects, including green building, retrofit projects and precinct-scale energy generation systems. We have long called for extra investment and incentives to encourage building upgrades and retrofits – this is a good start,” Ms Madew said. [post_title] => Suburban Utopia? New ‘City Deal’ gets strong stakeholder support [post_excerpt] => More than the sum of its parts. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => is-a-city-deal-the-road-to-suburban-utopia [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-06-21 10:09:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-06-21 00:09:27 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=24199 [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] => 30328 [post_author] => 675 [post_date] => 2018-05-18 10:43:59 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-18 00:43:59 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30329" align="aligncenter" width="620"] Angus Taylor discusses plans to reduce cyber incidents to zero at CeBIT yesterday.[/caption] Cyber Security Minister says all governments must work together to abolish cyber threats, while a leading cyber-defence CEO points to managing risk in the supply chain as a key issue. The Minister for Cyber Security Angus Taylor says the Commonwealth will work to reduce cyber threats to zero through a focus on critical IT infrastructure, collaborating with the private sector, tackling cybercrime and raising public awareness. Minister Taylor said that collaboration with the private sector “will be a major theme in the coming months” as part of a broader bid to tackle cybercrime nationally and within the federal government which he says “starts with the way we invest and procure.” “The collective power of agencies is critical. It is clear that government can’t succeed on this alone, we need to work across all agencies in the federal government, the state and local government, the private sector and international agencies and governments if we want to succeed,” he told the CeBIT conference yesterday.  The sophistication of cyber threats was a key topic at the conference, with Minister Taylor pointing to the global and pervasive nature of threats. “It’s clear to me that if we’re facing adversaries that are increasingly global, well-organised and adept that we have to combat them with the exact same capabilities,” he said. The move follows a series of measures aimed at tackling cyber threats, including the opening of the Home Affairs ministry, which Minister Taylor said aimed to encourage an inter-departmental approach, as well as the new 24/7 cyber security centre in Canberra.

CEO: minimising risk in the supply chain

Symantec CEO Greg Clark told the Sydney audience that tackling cyber attacks within supply chains is “one of the most relevant things” currently on his desk, saying the industry is at its highest risk level in decades. A recent Symantec report found a 200 per cent spike in software supply chain attacks, where attackers inject malware implants into the supply chain to infiltrate unsuspecting organisations. These breaches are often sub-tier suppliers of critical IT components or software within systems or products. [caption id="attachment_30330" align="alignright" width="300"] Symantec's CEO Greg Clark speaking yesterday.[/caption] Speaking to Government News on the sidelines of the event, Mr Clark said that managing risks in outsourced IT infrastructure and through the supply chain was a key  issue. When asked how the Australian Government can minimise risk in the supply chain through procurement, he recommended a risk framework to “buy risk down and lay risk off.” “With a risk framework we can assign accountability to the operators to effect change that reduces that risk," he said. In 2014, the United Kingdom introduced legislation to improve procurement processes within government by mandating a new cyber security standard for suppliers. The standard, which offers two levels of assurances, means all organisation must comply with the standard if bidding for government contracts. According to Mr Clark, negotiating terms with suppliers in the procurement process is another crucial standard to mitigate cyber risks. “I always tell people to be careful when you push seriously low risk terms on your supplier because it only takes one of those to put it out of business and if they’re doing it with hundreds of companies that’s risky,” he said.

New report: spike in government attacks

Meanwhile, a report released yesterday claims the government sector is the fourth most vulnerable to cyber attacks, suffering 13 per cent of all known cyber attacks over the past year, up 5 per cent from the previous year. Findings from Dimension Data’s NTT Security’s Global Threat Intelligence Report 2018 found an increase in cyber attacks targeting the supply chain. Mark Thomas, the group's CTO for cybersecurity, said supply chains are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyber threats. “There are numerous moving parts to supply chains and outsourcing companies, which often run on disparate and out-dated network infrastructures, making them easy prey to cyber threat actors. Service providers and outsourcers are also a prime target, due to their trade secrets and intellectual property," he said. The report found that while Australia is a frequent target, it’s also a major source of attacks. It found that 66 per cent of attacks on the financial sector in the Asia Pacific region originated from Australia.
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