Feeds

ABC vs Sky News for $220m deal to beam Oz TV into Asia

Conroy trumps Rudd as decision-maker

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Controversy has hit the tender process for a Au$220m 10-year contract to broadcast Australian television into Asia via the Australia Network.

Australia's national broadcaster, ABC and Sky News are facing off for the tender, which was issued late last year by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Last week, however, the government announced that it would extend the ABC's existing contract for six months in a bid to seek "additional information" from the bidders. Significantly it has emerged that the decision-making process has shifted away from the secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.

Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop has asked the government to explain why a service aimed at lifting Australia's international profile was being decided by the communications minister instead of the foreign minister.

"Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd appears to have been overruled by the prime minister in yet another example of the dysfunctional relationship at the heart of this government," Bishop said.

Bishop also added that Conroy could also be faced with a potential conflict of interest as he has responsibility for the ABC.

Tenderers have been asked to submit amended bids to specifically address how their operation of the Australia Network service would meet Australia's national interests.

The current contract with the ABC expires on 8 August 2011. ®

"The government will exercise its option under the existing contract to extend the service operated by the ABC for six months until 8 February 2012. The amended Australia Network Request for Tender will be released shortly and a decision on Preferred Tenderer is expected to be taken by September 2011," the joint government statement said.

The Australia Network has been operational since 1993 and currently broadcasts a mix of current affairs, sport, entertainment and children's programming to over 44 countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region. "The tender process and the shift toward a longer term contract was intended to provide greater certainty to the successful tender party and to ensure the government receives the best value in return for its investment." ®

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.