2013 Defence White Paper At the time of writing the government released the long awaited 2013 Defence Whitepaper. The ACS is keenly interested in this on a number of levels: Does the Whitepaper acknowledge the increasing cyber issues Australia faces? Does the Whitepaper have any focus on ICT skills that will improve our cyber resilience?
The Future of Business Optus released a report into the future of Business this week examining the drivers for technological change and adoption.
Australian PSI®: Services sector slips deeper into the red in April The April Australian Industry Group and Commonwealth Bank Performance Services Index was released this week showing a 5.5% decline in Business Services performance due to deteriorating local demand and lessened confidence. The report’s methodology does not recognise ICT as a sector in itself but notes “Communication Services” - an industry category often used as a catchall for ICT - improved in the period.
Qld to move to "ICT as a service" The Queensland Government will adopt all of the ICT recommendations handed down in an external audit which offers a scathing assessment of the state’s ICT portfolio, with CITEC to be shelved and assets sold off. The ACS will shortly launch a pilot program for displaced ICT professionals in Queensland.
Exposed: Australia's data breach laws The Australian Attorney General's Department has circulated a draft exposure bill for data breach notification laws, which the Government optimistically hopes to pass through Parliament within months. The confidential release of the Exposure Draft Privacy Amendment (Privacy Alerts) Bill 2013, leaked to Secure Computing, suggests the Australian Government is serious about attempting to pass a long-awaited privacy reform before the end of its term.
Discussion paper on 457 immigration The Ministerial Advisory Council on Skilled Migration (of which not a single ICT leader or organization is involved) received a discussion paper from the Department on strengthening the 457 Visa system. 457 Visas are employee sponsored visas. The Prime Minister, Treasurer and union leaders then singled out ICT as a sector where 457 “rorting” was endemic despite being able to provide no evidence. The ACS strongly rejected these claims. The ACS is interested in this issue because we see a skills shortage in ICT due to both the lack of student interest in ICT as a career as well as barriers faced by women and older workers. This means that in some areas businesses - and indeed even the government – are reliant on skilled migration in the short-medium term. The discussion paper has been released through FOI this week and clearly vindicates the ACS position. The ACS maintains that all stakeholders need to recognise the importance of ICT to the economy and the community.
Your cheque is in the mail… In yet another sign of the ubiquity of technology and the digital age, the Australian Payments Clearing Association released data this week showing the use of cheques has declined by 66% over the last decade and 12% in the last year.