Victoria to create Chief Data and Cyber Security posts

The Victorian state government will appoint a Cyber Security Officer to oversee the development of a new security strategy, which will be implemented from next month, according to its ICT strategy 2014-2015, published today.

A Cyber Security Officer will be appointed to oversee the Victorian government's development and implementation of a new cyber security strategy, which is set to begin next month, according to the Victorian Government ICT Strategy for 2014-2015 (PDF), which was published today.

"A government cyber security strategy is being developed, building on existing frameworks from the Australian Signals Directorate and the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department," the government said, in the strategy document.

"The government will also adopt recommendations from the recent Victorian Auditor General's report into information security, and appoint a Cyber Security Officer for the Victorian Government,” the report said.

The move comes after the Victorian auditor-general released a damning report late last year, which found that up to 11 audited public sector agencies were found to have failed to take proper security precautions in terms of policies, adoption of standards, and protection mechanisms.

According to the strategy report, June will also see the government commence the implementation of the Victorian Government Public WiFi Action Plan to assess the feasibility and create public WiFi networks in the CBDs of Melbourne, regional centres and major tourist destinations.

The ICT strategy report also indicated that the state government would begin the development in July of a public cloud framework and associated cloud guidance for use by departments and agencies.

"An important element for future services provision will be confirming a whole of government cloud framework, including principles, policies, standards, transition planning and a simplified procurement vehicle," the report said.

"The policy direction will be to implement cloud services where they create the best outcome, and where they create opportunities to re-use and share services and strengthen capabilities."

The strategy said that in May next year, the state government will begin investigating and implementing opportunities for utilising big data analytics capabilities within government ranks.

"Government could make better use internally of its data holdings," the report said. "Systems could work together better, data could be collected and stored fewer times across government and lifecycle management of data could be streamlined.

"A data-centric viewpoint will improve the way we evaluate systems and processes. A whole-of-government Chief Data Officer will be appointed to oversee improvements to the way data is managed, both within government and through its release to the public," it said.

The report also suggested the development of a whole-of-government policy position that will see agencies develop an agency-level 'bring your own device' policy that will extend to devices, productivity software, and storage.

In the report, the Victorian government reiterated the launch of a AU$12 million innovation fund for pilot projects or technology trials to improve government service delivery. It will focus on boosting public sector productivity and delivering improved services.

The strategy will also see the government undertake a co-design project with the Game Developers Association of Australia as a demonstration of using gamification to "deliver value to citizens". This is expected to kick off in August next year.

February next year will see the development of a whole-of-government social media policy and strategy to "better engage with citizens online".

Meanwhile, in August, the government will review its role in managing and delivering "fundamental spatial data", the scope of its associated infrastructure and shared services to deliver that data, along with the requirements for governance and coordination among departments to ensure the current offering is in line with the DataVic Access Policy.

The government also said it aims to support 10 projects by June next year through its Victorian Government Innovation Fund, which kicked off in February this year.

"The Coalition Government will continue to consult citizens and business in the development of government services using digital channels such as online and through mobile devices and applications," said Rich-Phillips.

"It is important that Victorians have easy access to accurate information and convenient government transactions, which is what we will deliver over the next 18 months," he said.