Digital developments from Canberra 45

It’s the midwinter break in Canberra, but the government still found time to stand down robodebt’s main villain, and spend way to much money on IT systems.

Here’s what I’ve noticed since the previous edition on 14 July.

  • Senior public servant Kathryn Campbell has been suspended without pay following the release of the robodebt royal commission findings.
  • In further news about the world’s most brilliant consulting company, the government’s PwC-backed mental health platform was scrapped after $33m government trial launched without open tender.
  • “As the government’s use of consultants remains in the spotlight, the PM&C has posted job ads for its in-house consulting service,” reports The Mandarin. “One advertised position on APS Jobs is an SES Band 2 position titled ‘chief consulting officer’, who will lead the service.”
  • “A large-scale program to set up a common SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for the federal government has cost $265 million so far,” reports iTnews.
  • “Research into merging human brain cells with artificial intelligence has received a $600,000 grant from defence and the Office of National Intelligence (ONI).”
  • It’s not from government but about government: Publicis Sapient released its Digital Citizen Report, which “explores the opportunities for digital transformation based on citizen responses and the issues that matter to them”.
  • And finally, since censorship is about restricting information, the Australian classification board has rejected calls to restrict the graphic novel Gender Queer, saying that the memoir by non-binary writer Maia Kobabe is “appropriate for its intended audience”’ following an appeal”.

Please let me know if I’ve missed anything, or if there’s any specific items you’d like me to follow. Parliament is currently on its winter break, and it scheduled to return on Monday 31 July, in a little over a week.

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[Photo: Kathryn Campbell, former Secretary of the Department of Human Services.]