Victor Dominello is heading a new task force to sort out Services Australia’s digital customer services. There’s plenty of other news in that vicinity too, as well as stories about AI, and new guidelines for censoring computer games.
Here’s what I’ve noticed since the previous edition on 3 November.
- Former NSW Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government Victor Dominello will be leading a dedicated new advisory group to conduct a top-level digital overhaul of Services Australia’s customer-facing functions.
- Centrelink to get 3,000 new staff in bid to deal with helpline and payment delays. And yet, Up to 180 staff leaving Services Australia each month amid growing delays for Centrelink services, reports the Guardian. “Greens senator Janet Rice says welfare agency in crisis after Senate hears nearly 20% plan to depart in next 12 months.”
- ‘Scam-in-a-box’: MyGov suspends thousands of accounts linked to dark web fraud kits.
- Meanwhile, “The federal government intends to change how citizens authenticate to the myGov system from next year, moving to passwordless approaches such as passkeys and facial recognition,” reports iTnews.
- Australia ‘at the back of the pack’ in regulating AI, experts warn.
- “Government services minister Bill Shorten has fired a broadside at Australia’s big banks, which are salivating at the prospect of monetising Australia’s emerging digital identity ecosystem to make it a lucrative wellspring of transactional fee revenue extracted from people required to prove who they are,” reports The Guardian.
- “The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) is set to explore technology options for a whole-of-government approach to generative AI.”
- The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services has issued a warning about AI-generated submissions, reminding submitters they do actually have to ensure they have their facts right.
- “Ombudsman argues against allowing journalists access to their own search warrants,” writes John Taylor. “Four-year appeal to obtain information on secret trawling of journalists’ data by law enforcement agencies continues.”
- From the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee we have a report on the Identity Verification Services Bill 2023 and the Identity Verification Services (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2023 [Provisions]. There’s a bunch of recommendations for improving privacy controls and such.
- Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games 2023.
- We have the government response to the interim report from routine Senate inquiry into “all aspects of the conduct of the 2022 federal election”. There’s obviously more to come, but so far the response to every single recommendation was just “Noted”. Why even bother?
- So much has been said elsewhere about the massive Optus outage this week, including by me. However I will mention that Telcos could be forced to let customers roam rival networks during outages under plan Optus opposed. And as for the various inquiries, the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications wants to hear from you by next Friday 17 November.
As I post this, the Senate is still sitting. If anything else comes through later on Friday I’ll add it here on Saturday morning.
Please let me know if I’ve missed anything, or if there’s any specific items you’d like me to follow. Both houses of parliament are sitting next week, and we already have the draft legislative program for the House of Representatives.
[Photo: The well-regarded Victor Dominello, the former NSW Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government.]