18 July 2018

Data disappears during digital transition

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‘Digital transformation’ are the words on the lips of every public sector employee whose role involves ICT, online services and record keeping.

Touting the benefits of increased speed, accuracy and enhanced organisational agility, federal government has poured $70m in funding to support ICT and digital measures in the 2017-2018 budget.

However the total number of IT workers imported into Australia each year have been frozen in time a 2016 due to changes in the methodology for collecting the data of overseas arrivals and departures.

Traditional paper outgoing passenger cards were eliminated in June 2017 with the goal of making life easier for travellers. At the time it was hailed by then Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton as “state-of-the-art passenger processing technology” that would slash queue times.

Immigration’s CIO Randall Brugeaud shared a similar enthusiasm for the move; “The human recognition systems potentially allow us to process people without any human intervention.”

The ‘net migration of ICT workers’ dataset has since disappeared from Deloitte Access Economics’ annual ‘Digital Pulse’ report.

“Due to changes in the methodology for collecting Overseas Arrivals and Departures data, a detailed occupational breakdown of this data is no longer published,” the report said.

The incident has done little to restore Australian citizen’s faith in government for digital transformation after a history of ICT budget blowouts, data corruption and un-operable systems.

“I wonder how long it will take before someone realises downsizing, offshoring, out-sourcing and 'right-sizing' are strategic tools & goals light-years ahead of government digital readiness?” comments one on the original article by IT News.

“This makes no sense. The government still records passengers coming and going, there is just no additional paper form which was always just thrown in the rubbish bin after immigration anyway. This is more likely just another failure in the ABS's IT systems,” says another.
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Written by: Claire Dowler

Claire is the manager of Akolade’s government and digital portfolio. She’s passionate about emerging digital trends, particularly in the public sector. In her spare time she enjoys picking up heavy things and putting them back down again and animals are her favourite kind of people. 

Follow me on LinkedIn for information regarding future Akolade events as well as future blog posts @ Claire Dowler

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