NSW has given maximum security inmates touch screens in open plan prison

ZDNet

There's currently a prison "crisis" in New South Wales, which according to NSW Department of Justice CIO Aaron Liu, is the result of the inmate population exploding and prisons being stretched to the limit. The solution, Liu said, was to put digital technologies at the forefront, while also addressing rehabilitation and working on preventing reoffending. In 12 months, the state government built its first Rapid Build prison in Wellington, 362 kilometres west of Sydney. The second, the Hunter Correctional Centre in Cessnock, officially opened last year after another 12-month build. "These are maximum security facilities and these facilities are a dormitory style, so rather than locking an inmate in an individual cell, they're in an open dorm," Liu told the Australian Information Industry Association NSW Government Briefing in Sydney on Friday.


From Oracle to Rimini Street: TransGrid to reap rewards from the vendor dual

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Around four years ago, New South Wales-based high voltage electricity transmission network provider TransGrid took the maintenance and support contract from the care of Oracle and handed it to Rimini Street. According to TransGrid ICT planning and architecture manager Michael Milne, Rimini Street, which provides third party enterprise software support, was a good fit for the organisation that was not long ago sold by the NSW government for AU$10.5 billion to a consortium of mainly foreign owners. "We've traditionally been an outsourced environment, running Eclipse ERP system with an Oracle back-end, and we have about 100 or-so applications. Oracle's not a big footprint for us, nor is it a strategic direction," Milne told the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo on the Gold Coast on Tuesday. "We did an upgrade to the ERP system about five years ago which saw the removal of the Oracle eBusiness suite and the consolidation of capex and project financials into the Eclipse ERP system."


Transport for NSW loses Opal tracking case

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A NSW tribunal has found that the state's Opal card, a contactless smart card used on public transport in the state, breaches the privacy of pensioners. Waters argued that as a user of a gold Opal card, he should have the option to travel with the card without his travel movements being linked to his identity. Unlike standard Adult Opal cards, it is mandatory for users of the gold Opal for pensioners and silver Opal for concessions to be registered online and have their card linked to identifiable information such as name and address. TfNSW has said that this decision was made to help manage cases of individuals who fraudulently claim a concession. After two years, NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) ruled in favour of Waters last month, saying the design of the Opal card system breaches privacy obligations of NSW law.


NSW government commits AU$52.6m to national biometric initiative

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Announced as part of the state's 2018-19 Budget on Tuesday, NSW will be contributing AU$52.6 million over four years to the rollout of the biometric capability across New South Wales, enabling access to new face matching technology for law enforcement. "This technology will increase the capability to identify suspects or victims of terrorist or other criminal activity, including identity crime," the Budget papers say. The Australia-wide initiative will allow state and territory law enforcement agencies to have access to the country's new face matching services to access passport, visa, citizenship, and driver licence images from other jurisdictions. The Face Verification Service (FVS) is a one-to-one image-based verification service that will match a person's photo against an image on one of their government records; while the Face Identification Service (FIS) is a one-to-many, image-based identification service that can match a photo of an unknown person against multiple government records to help establish their identity. The Australian government in February introduced two Bills into the House of Representatives that would allow for the creation of the system to match photos against identities of citizens stored in various federal and state agencies: The Identity-matching Services Bill 2018 (IMS Bill) and the Australian Passports Amendment (Identity-matching Services) Bill 2018.


Victorian government pushes back on in-classroom surveillance

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The Australian government in August last year kicked off a trial that saw surveillance cameras placed in classrooms to monitor if students were in attendance. The now-completed trial took place in a few private schools in the state, and the funding was accounted for at a federal level. According to the Digital Rights Watch -- a charity aimed at educating on and upholding the digital rights of Australians -- the next phase of the trial was to roll out the program to state-run schools. The initiative would involve the placement of cameras within classrooms that scan the faces of students and then compare the images against photos kept on file. Any instances of missing students would then be reported.