bckgound


Of Death And Taxes
Charities
The the old adage that there are only two things certain in life, death and taxes has never applied to religious charities, but new registration requirements mean some charities face an uncertain future.
SPECIAL REPORT: AUSTRALIA’S RELIGIOUS CHARITIES
Charities
The financial information of over fourteen thousand religious charities is analysed for the first time.
ARE AUSSIES APRIL FOOLS FOR CRYPTOCURRENCIES
Interests
Rosie investigates whether Australian politicians should be declaring their Bitcoin along with their other investments.
INTRODUCING COMMONWEALTH TENDERS SEARCH
Tenders
Have you ever wondered which agencies outsource the most and which companies they outsource to?
BUDGET ENSHRINES NEGLECT OF OLDER WOMEN
Budget
There are interesting lessons for older Australians in the budget data.
IPA APPOINTEE FAILS TO ATTEND ESTIMATES
Charities
The appointment of former IPA Research Fellow as Charities Commissioner has caused internal ructions in the senior ranks of the ACNC.
UPDATE AND APPEAL FOR DONATIONS
About
I have survived the past months solely thanks to your generosity but can I make the important work that I do sustainable in the long term?
OUR MOST PROLIFIC CORPORATE GIFT GIVERS
Interests
Ever wondered which companies give most often to our federal politicians? Recent analysis of interests data provides answers.
WE ARE ALL SPECIAL SNOWFLAKES AND WHY IT MATTERS
Privacy
Macquarie university researcher responds to ABS TableBuilder claims.
FOR BETTER OR WORSE
Tax
Let’s show ATO whistleblower, Richard Boyle that we have his back.
THE HIDDEN WEALTH OF BASIC RELIGIOUS CHARITIES
Charities
Religious charities should not be able to hide their wealth- updated with comment from Andrew Leigh.
IT’S CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY FOR OUR POLITICIANS
Interests
Recieving gifts and favours is part and parcel of political life. This cheat-sheet provides a bird’s-eye view of gifts and hospitality as it stands today.
LOOKING BACK AND BEYOND: CROWD FUNDING AND THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS
About
The truth can have few friends so building and running transparency projects is not for the faint-hearted. Here’s the view from the inside.
AUSTRALIA’S MIGRANT LABOUR PAINS
Immigration
Up to one in ten Australian jobs are now performed by temporary workers. This article places this trend into an historical context of exploitation of foreign workers and the wider historical context that has shaped the culture of worker rights.
DEFENDING YOUR ORGANISATION WITH TRAINING AND TECHNOLOGY
Privacy
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) released their quarterly report on the Notification Data Breaches Scheme earlier this week. Read about what this means for your organisation and what you can do about it.
LIBERAL PARTY HARNESSES I360 BIG DATA IN TIME FOR 2019 FEDERAL ELECTION
Privacy
The Koch brothers' i360 data service is now being used by the Liberal Party of Australia. This article looks at the history of the organisation and the implications for our privacy and democracy.
DON’T BE THE NEXT BUSINESS TO FALL VICTIM TO A DATA BREACH
Privacy
What is the difference between spam and phishing and why does it matter?
AUSTRALIA’S STUDENT HOUSING CRISIS
Housing
Scott Morrison recently re-opened debate about population policy to ease congestion on Australia's fastest growing cities - Sydney and Melbourne. In this article I look at the implications for demand on the low-cost housing market of our large intake of international students which is six times the number of migrants.
PROFESSIONAL HELP NEEDED: LAW FIRMS STILL VULNERABLE TO PHISHING ATTACKS
Security
A significant number of law firms could be exposed to phishing attacks if they have not set up their anti-phishing service correctly. This article introduces the report by Iron Bastion into research on Australia's law firms and explains the vulnerability recently modelled and what to do about it.
PRIVACY, MEDIA AND POLITICS: WHAT ARE OUR RIGHTS?
Privacy
This article looks at the potential for collusion between the media and political parties, neither of which are covered by the Privacy Act.
THE AUSTRALIAN DOXES ANTI RACISM CAMPAIGNERS
Racism
Anti-racism campaigners Sleeping Oz Giants and their followers on Twitter are subjected to defamatory campaign in The Australian.
PEXA INTRODUCES MFA BUT MORE GUIDANCE NEEDED
Security
This article explains the recent hack of the national property lodgement database and the risks to legal firms and their users of using SMS in two-factor authentication.
WHISTLEBOWERS: THE HEROES BEHIND THE STORIES THAT MATTER
Whistleblowing
Whistleblowers play an essential and often-overlooked role in the major stories that hold out institutions to account. This article looks at the consequences to whistleblowers and media for recent changes in National Security legislation and includes the 11 point UNESCO evaluation of legislation written by Julie Posetti.
TAKING OVER THE CORPORATE REGULATORS ONE IPA APPOINTMENT AT A TIME
Privacy
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner is the independent Commonwealth authority charged with governing access to government information and organisations that fall under the Privacy Act. This article traces the early years of the OAIC as it weathers attempts to abolish the office by the Abbott Government.
THE IPA’S LONG MARCH THROUGH THE BUREAUCRACY
Charities
This article follows on from the article on the OAIC and traces the early years of the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission as the Abbott government attempts to abolish the office. The ACNC is the Commonwealth charities regulator responsible for governing the multi-billion dollar charity sector.
DECONSTRUCTING THE DEMOCRACY SAUSAGE
Privacy
This article looks at the privacy and security issues like to arise with attempts to move election voting online or through the use of voting machines.
WHAT ITS LIKE BEING POOR IN AUSTRALIAS CRAZY HOUSING BUBBLE?
Housing
Most of the debate about housing is framed around the recent realisation that younger middle class people are now worried they may not be able to afford to buy their own houses, shock horror! Contrasted with this view is the story of what the poor (who have never had access to the property market) are faring.
BAIRD UNLEASHES ON HER AUDIENCE REVEALING RIGHT WING BIAS
Open Data
For the last two weeks I've been busily building a couple of datasets and developing a site to track ABC panellists, their affiliations and number of appearances.
THE BUMPY ROAD TO THINK TANK TRANSPARENCY IN AUSTRALIA
Charities
During the week I received a response to my enquiry to the ATO requesting a list of Approved Research Institutes (some of which are think tanks like the IPA) however, as you will see from the response, the problem of think tank transparency in Australia has a lot of hurdles to overcome before we will be in a position to understand who is funding them.
THE DATA SHARING AND RELEASE ACT IS COMING FOR YOUR DATA
Privacy
This article explains what motivated me to get behind the #CensusFail campaign against the 2016 census. The article explains the history of the governance of administrative data and the changes I saw taking place to allow our data held by government agencies to be linked together into data integration projects to be shared with research and commercial interests.
GETTING TO THE BOTTOM OF THE IPA’S RIGHT TO DGR STATUS
Charities
If people are going to challenge the activities of the IPA, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the legislation governing its activities.
HIDDEN INEQUALITIES OF TAX CONCESSIONS
Tax
Every year the government releases totals of the revenue 'foregone' to the budget of tax concessions. Early in 2018 I made the first ever open interactive data project using this data. this article explains the data and what it means for the budget and inequality.
STATE FED FUNDING ARE THE STATES TERRITORIES THE MEAT IN THE SANDWICH
Budget
The state and territory governments are at the coalface of all the important social problems faced by vulnerable Australians, yet there is comparatively little open data provided by state agencies.
WHAT CAN OPEN DATA TELL US ABOUT AUSTRALIAS MAJOR BANKS
Political Donations
Collectively, over the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 Australia's major banks earned over $600 billion in income but paid tax on only $1.45 billion (21% of their revenue).
CORPORATE TAX INEQUALITY BASTARD BANKS
Tax
Corporate tax is a hot topic in Australia with major corporations lobbying hard for a cut in the tax rate even while the business practices of Australia's banks are revealed to one and all as little better than criminal. Aware of the rising inequality driven by multi-national tax minimisation and avoidance, many Australians are justifiably angry.
TURNING THE TABLES ON WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT AUSTRALIAS POWERFUL PEOPLE AND INSTITUTIONS
Tax
For the last four months I have been coding solidly to build the largest financial transparency project that exists in this country. This project is based on work I have done in previous years which I quickly decided to reboot, re-design and expand dramatically during December 2017.
CASHLESS DEBIT CARD, INCOME MANAGEMENT AND THE SURVEILLANCE STATE
Welfare
The Cashless Welfare Card forces each recipient to share their entire purchase history with the government to ensure 'compliance' with the government's new policy of controlling how welfare recipients spend their income. In this article, I explain the human rights law that Australia is signatory to and the implications for the government in breaching that law.



×