From The Editor

Is the Australian Public Service suffering from undue diligence and scientific rigor mortis? Some articles and speeches this month explain the need to move the APS from bureaucratic rigmarole to scientific rigor. One of the most blistering and persuasive articles of the year comes in a 14.12.2016 article in The Mandarin, Evidence-based policy: missing in action? by Karen Chester, Productivity Commission deputy chair.  “To put it bluntly, the overwhelming absence of meaningful evaluation of Indigenous policies and programs beggars belief.” Apart from the lessons in evidence-based policy, Karen shares some personal experiences of bad public policy which make for highly recommended holiday reading, see below, Public Service Rigor or Rigor Mortis.

More eye-opening holiday reading, technical but worth the effort, comes in a December 2, 2016 Instrumental blog by Anna Shedletsky, Instrumental CEO . “ Looking at the design, Samsung engineers were clearly trying to balance the risk of a super-aggressive manufacturing process to maximize capacity, while attempting to protect it internally.”

See below, Aggressive design caused Samsung Galaxy Note 7 battery explosions 

A new coreset-generation technique has been presented by researchers that’s tailored to a whole family of data analysis tools with applications in natural-language processing, computer vision, signal processing, recommendation systems, weather prediction, finance, and neuroscience, among many others.”

The above technique is described in a 15 December 2016 Science Daily article from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The article describes how the reduction algorithm works, see below, Technique shrinks data sets for easier analysis

“We can create software with 100 times fewer vulnerabilities than we do today, according to computer scientists. To get there, they recommend that coders adopt the approaches they have compiled in a new publication.“

The above research appears in 6 December 2016 Science Daily article from National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).  “The 60-page document, NIST Interagency Report (NISTIR) 8151: Dramatically Reducing Software Vulnerabilities (link is external), is a collection of the newest strategies gathered from across industry and other sources for reducing bugs in software.” See below Safer, less vulnerable software is the goal of new computer publication.


Current Issue

Articles in the current Issue cover: 

Public Service Rigor or Rigor Mortis     

“The reliance on consultants is remarkable and the amount spent on them is eye watering.”

Aggressive design caused Samsung Galaxy Note 7 battery explosions.

since it breaks such a basic rule, it must have been intentional. It is even possible that our unit was under pressure when we opened it.” 

Technique shrinks data sets for easier analysis

They’re fundamental to so many problems. By figuring out the coreset for a huge matrix for one of these tools, you can enable computations that at the moment are simply not possible.”

Safer, less vulnerable software is the goal of new computer publication

“We want coders to know about it,” said Black, one of the publication’s coauthors. “We concentrated on including novel ideas that they may not have heard about already.”



Raj Dalal, Founder & Principal BigInsights, was one of the presenters at our popular ACOSM16 Conference in June. Raj has now provided a QESP blog giving details of the Australian Innovation Shines at BigInsights Data Innovation Awards. Award Winners Include Startups, Researchers and Corporates.

Both Australia’s Federal Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation & Science, The Hon Craig Laundy MP, and NSW Minister for Innovation & Better Regulation, The Hon Victor Dominello presented the BigInsights Data Innovation Awards 2016 on 6th December at the University of Sydney. See

Australian Innovation Shines at BigInsights Data Innovation Awards



QESP/ ACS NSW evening  networking event

A further joint QESP/ ACS NSW evening networking event is now being planned for 2017, see 

Previous Event,  Governance in the Digital Age, was run in Brisbane on 8th December 2016 by Chair of the ISO/IEC JTC1/SC40 committee on IT Service Management and IT Governance standards. The event discussed Strategies for the data boom and the standards now being developed to provide guidance for boards on the governance of data. QESP Committee Member Melanie Cheong spoke on Outsourcing for strategic advantage and participated in the Panel Discussion. Standards discussed included the recently published IT Enabled Services-Business Process Outsourcing (ITES-BPO) lifecycle processes standard.


 Quote of the Day

“With great power, comes great responsibility.” – Spiderman 

Quote from Yesteryear

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” — HL Mencken 26 July 1920


Wishing all our readers a happy festive season and success in 2017


Ted Smillie

QESP Chair