ASIO to appoint its first CIO and expand IT

The Australian federal government’s funding hike in response to a”complex security environment” will see the Australian SecurityIntelligence Organization (ASIO) appoint its first CIO this yearwith applications closing at the end of the month.

The CIO-equivalent role within ASIO was a senior executive service(SES) band 1 level, but the new position has been elevated to SESband 2, reflecting the organization’s increased appreciation of IT.

An ASIO spokesperson said the organization is undertaking arecruitment drive to fulfill the federal government’s stated aim ofdoubling its staff over the five years to 2011.

“Recruitment is taking place across all areas, including IT, tobring the total number of staff to 1860 by 2011,” the spokespersontold Computerworld. “Effective management of information is at theheart of ASIO’s capability as an intelligence organization.”

While coy about the specific information and technology environmentthe new CIO will preside over, the spokesperson talked up ASIO’suse of “cutting-edge” systems.

“ASIO uses advanced technology and analytical tools to assist withinvestigations, decision making, and the provision of advice,” thespokesperson said. “It continues to invest heavily in cutting-edgedata management and analytical systems.

“ASIO identified “maintaining its capability to collect and storeever increasing volumes of information” as one of its keychallenges.

“As information is received it needs to be assimilated intodatabases and retrievable in ways that allow seemingly unconnectedfragments to be placed into a bigger picture [or] ‘joining thedots’,” the spokesperson said, adding ASIO is seeking someone withproven leadership experience and an ability to manage corporateinformation service s.

“The CIO will play a key role in re-designing business processes,developing strategic approaches to resource allocation and beinginnovative in driving multifaceted projects to completion .

“The role is based in Canberra and will pay around A$160,000(US$118,000) including a “privately plated vehicle, superannuation,and performance pay.”

Also on the new CIO’s agenda will be provision of strategicdirection on ASIO’s records management infrastructure.

A mature government department like ASIO may be late in appointinga CIO, but is not alone in that other organizations like the CSIRO,and most of the state governments, have only appointed informationexecutives in recent years to manage IT holistically.

ASIO pledges to keep all applications in strict confidence andrequests that applicants “not discuss your application withothers.”

Applications should be sent via Hudson Government Recruitment’sCanberra office and must be received by March 27.

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