Oceania Government

Unisys pockets AU$90m in border biometrics and Defence IT support


American IT services provider Unisys has picked up a pair of Australian government contracts. The first is to design and implement the Enterprise Biometric Identification Services (EBIS) system that will be used by the Department of Home Affairs to conduct biometric matching on people entering Australia. "The new EBIS system will be used by the department to match face images and fingerprints of people wishing to travel to Australia, including visa and citizenship applicants, against biometric watch lists to identify people of security, law enforcement, or immigration interest, while simultaneously facilitating the processing of legitimate travellers," Unisys said in a statement. The company said the system will be designed for the next decade. For its part, Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Alex Hawke said the system would "vastly improve" Australia's biometric storage and processing capabilities, and consolidate the biometrics collected through visa and detention programs with data collected at SmartGates.

AEC gives Fuji Xerox AU$27m for another ballot scanning system


The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has signed another contract with Fuji Xerox Businessforce to provide a ballot scanning system for the next federal election. The AU$27 million, two-year contract includes the supply of the technology and equipment that will be extended for use by state and territory electoral commissions. One of today's biggest opportunities for IT to make an impact is by automating business processes, manufacturing, repetitive tasks, and more. An AEC spokesperson told ZDNet that correct processes were undertaken regarding procurement, selecting Fuji Xerox Businessforce from a standing deed of offer that is managed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). On the four-vendor panel, which began in June 2014 and will last through to June 2019, is data preparation and processing firm Decipha, management consultants Sema Operations, Fuji Xerox Australia, and Fuji Xerox Businessforce.

Vic MPs to examine artificial intelligence


"This is something that can provide us with huge opportunities within our industry development. "Yes, people will be fearful of it, but we should be learning to embrace that change." The group, modelled on the UK version, will examine the economic and social effects of artificial intelligence.

Department of Industry bins virtual assistant at pilot stage


The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has revealed it binned a virtual assistant it had developed for its business.gov.au

Commonwealth Bank pumped AU$752m into tech during H1 2018


The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has released its financial results for the first half of the 2018 financial year, reporting AU$4.9 billion in after-tax profit on revenue of AU$21.3 billion.

Government looks to spectrum sharing


The federal government has announced the outcome of its review of Australia's spectrum pricing and management, suggesting that it investigate the implementation of spectrum sharing arrangements used in other countries.

How Australia's government-by-parrot is flying backward on drones


It's a cliché, but the law really does lag behind the development of new technologies. Government agencies often see the need for change, and at least start the ball rolling. But the politicians don't seem to notice until things become, well, political.

New Australian regulations to support driverless vehicles


Australian road traffic authorities can begin the roll out of intelligent transport systems (ITS) that enable vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-person, or vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, thanks to new regulations introduced by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) on Thursday.

NSW to launch research centre for defence autonomous systems


The New South Wales government has announced that it will be launching a new Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Trusted Autonomous Systems to develop defence technologies and solutions in partnership with research institutions, universities, and businesses.

Australian government's recklessness with medical data is symptom of deeper problems


Nor should it be a surprise that the official government response was to downplay the risk. "The Department of Health takes this matter very seriously," began the message that a departmental spokesperson sent ZDNet on Monday, echoing every corporate mea culpa ever. The department had referred the problems with this health dataset to the privacy commissioner a year ago, and now says that it has taken unspecified "further steps to protect and manage data". "The department has not been aware of anyone being identified," they finished, as if that somehow excuses them. After all, the dataset is out there in the wild, having presumably been downloaded at least once before being taken offline.