Public servants defend each other from criticism, the AFP does dodgy things with tech yet again, and junior public servants are a tad sexist. Also, a government minister performs an Elvis cover.
Here’s what I’ve noticed since the previous edition on 20 October.
- “Australian federal police tested controversial facial recognition search engine, FOI documents reveal,” reports the Guardian. As I said in the Vertical Hold podcast, this really does point to a systemic problem.
- The Australian Signals Directorate has run as many as 50 offensive cyber security actions in the past year, reports iTnews. I mean, it’s kinda their job, right?
- Majority of Centrelink payments facing significant delays since Labor took office because, yes, Centrelink issues 2.8m busy messages to callers in only two months as wait times blow out. As people on government benefits have known for years, they don’t even bother having enough staff to answer the phone.
- “The Secretary of the Department of Defence, Greg Moriarty, has defended the hiring of former robodebt and Human Services chief executive Kathryn Campbell on her full SES Band-3 salary and rank as an executive within the fledgling AUKUS program at senate estimates, saying it came before the royal commission into the illegal scheme,” reports The Mandarin.
- Also, “Acting secretary of home affairs Stephanie Foster would not comment during senate estimates on whether she had referred stood-down Mike Pezzullo to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).”
- And while we’re at The Mandarin, “Junior public servants allegedly created a ‘hotties list’ ranking their female co-workers, a senate estimates committee has heard.” Classy.
- “NSW and federal govts pause work on digital credential sharing,” reports Innovation Aus ($), because apparently they’ve found out it’s harder than they thought.
- US-Aust leader dialogue covers AI, space, cyber security.
- Microsoft to help Australia’s cyber spies amid $5bn investment in cloud computing.
- And finally, Burning love: Australia’s health minister Mark Butler impersonates Elvis Presley – video.
- UPDATE: It came in later on Friday: Treasury’s Independent Evaluation of the JobKeeper Payment Final Report.
Please let me know if I’ve missed anything, or if there’s any specific items you’d like me to follow. Parliament is on break this week, but returns for a Senate-only sitting week on 6 November.
[Photo:. Acting secretary of the Department of Home Affairs, Stephanie Foster.]