The working year has kicked off with a bang. A massive report on myGov and a massive new cultural policy, plus news on digital ID, streaming services, digital platforms, copyright, and even My Health Record. Remember that?
Here are the digital developments from Canberra I’ve noticed since the previous edition on 27 January.
- The big news this week is that David Thodey’s user audit of the myGov platform has released its final report. According to InnovationAus, it urges the government to commit ongoing funding of more than $100 million a year to ensure it becomes the go-to place for online services. See also the reports at iTnews which focus on the need for a more services mindset and clunky and fragmented digital ID.
- “The federal government shunned its own website content management system in favour of Adobe when myGov was redeveloped due to its ‘limited functionality’, only to leave Adobe’s content personalisation features unused, according to the review of the services platform,” reports InnovationAus.
- Government Services minister Bill Shorten and New South Wales Customer Service and Digital Government minister Victor Dominello announced an agreement to work more closely on digital. First up will be Medicare cards in the Service NSW app, and NSW driver licences in the myGov app. I’ll believe the latter when I see it.
- The Australian Government released its landmark National Cultural Policy, Revive: a place for every story, a story for every place, on Monday. It includes, among many other things, the restoration of the Australian Interactive Games Fund, which was cut by the Abbott government almost a decade ago. Arts minister Tony Burke spoke about the proposal in his National Press Club address and there was more, including a rough timeline, in an online panel.
- “International streaming giants including the likes of Disney and Netflix will be forced to invest in more local content, under new quotas set to be implemented by the Federal Government.” And yes the streaming giants have pushed back.
- The Australian Federal Police is targeting the financial sextortion of teenage boys.
- The Australian Tax Office has renewed its cybersecurity support contract with Macquarie Telecom worth $32.7 million.
- ““The federal government spent $888 million on consultant-related contracts for the 2021-22 financial year, an increase from $352 million in 2012-13,” reports The Mandarin.
- One I forgot to include last week. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has started investigating potential advertising misconduct of more than 100 social media influencers following more than 150 tip-offs from the public. This is part of the ACCC’s ongoing Digital platform services inquiry 2020-25.
- Another one I may have missed. In December the Attorney-General’s Department released a discussion paper as part of its Copyright Enforcement Review. Law firm Allens has also published The Copyright Enforcement Review: what you need to know about the latest inquiry into Australian copyright law. Worth reading if you want to make a submission before the window closes on 7 March.
- “The under-utilised and much-maligned My Health Record will be at the centre of a push to modernise primary healthcare, with better digital systems to be discussed at national cabinet,” this is today, reports the Guardian. So look out for that news. Also on the agenda is Medicare more generally.
- Finally, the Parliamentary Library has an excellent backgrounder on the possible changes to paracetamol access, which is a thing which I think addresses the effects rather than the cause. OK, that one isn’t even remotely digital, but it’s a topic that really irritates me.
Please let me know if I’ve missed anything, or if there’s any specific items you’d like me to follow.
The robodebt royal commission has been hearing evidence all this week. It’s massively important as well as fascinating, of course, but there’s so much material that I’m leaving it to others to cover.
Parliament is scheduled (PDF) to return this coming Monday 6 February, so I’ll definitely have one of these summaries next week.
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[Photo: Bill Shorten government services minister, and David Thodey, who headed the myGov audit.]