McGowan Government acts to improve public sector cybersecurity

by WA Government News | Jun 19, 2018
  • New Office of Digital Government created to improve cybersecurity and drive digital capability
  • More than $500,000 allocated to establish a dedicated cybersecurity team
  • State Government partners with world-leading experts in cybersecurity from Edith Cowan University 

The McGowan Government is establishing an Office of Digital Government, which will include a focus on improving government cybersecurity practices to keep Western Australians' information safe.

Beginning on July 1, 2018, the Office of Digital Government will be a discrete business unit within the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.  The office will drive the public sector's digital capabilities, and will include a dedicated cybersecurity team.

This will bring new emphasis to the McGowan Government's priority of improving cybersecurity in the public sector after eight years of neglect by the previous Liberal National Government. 

The Auditor General's 2017 Information Systems Audit report showed that information security and business continuity have shown no improvement in the last nine years, and that only seven out of the 46 agencies audited met expectations for managing their computer environments effectively.

The McGowan Government's new approach to cybersecurity includes:

  • $7.4 million in funding for the new Office of Digital Government;
  • More than $500,000 for a new cybersecurity team, who will develop whole-of-government cybersecurity initiatives;
  • The establishment of a Cyber Security Reference Group, comprising of representatives from nine public sector agencies, to support development of a whole-of-government approach to cybersecurity; and
  • A partnership with Edith Cowan University, a globally recognised cybersecurity institution, to collaborate on projects that improve the security of the WA public sector. 

The McGowan Government is implementing the recommendations of the Service Priority Review, which found that the Government needs to strengthen cybersecurity, ICT performance and data sharing, and increase online service delivery.

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