November 30, 2020

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Tasmania to expand cyber program

The Tasmanian Government has committed $4.9 million over four years to develop its Whole-of-Government Cyber Security Program as part of its $135.4 million investment in government IT service delivery.

The funds will be used to expand the cybersecurity program, which seeks to help the state government more rapidly detect and mediate vulnerabilities in Tasmanian government services. The expanded program will also include support for government departments to train staff to better recognise threats that may occur in their day-to-day work, as well as a cybersecurity upskilling program for the state’s public sector.

As part of these efforts, the government will soon advertise for additional experts to the Whole-of-Government Cyber Security Team as part of a recruitment guide.

The Tasmanian Minister for Science and Technology said in a statement that the Tasmanian Liberal government is determined to protect its information and ICT systems from malicious cyber activity which is increasing in frequency, scale, sophistication and severity.

The expanded program aims to reduce the impact of malicious actors and aid rapid remediation by detecting vulnerabilities in Tasmanian government services at the earliest opportunity, further integrating our incident response capacity with national arrangements.

Tasmania reveals $135M IT infrastructure overhaul

Tasmania announced that it aims to invest $135.4 million into a government-wide IT infrastructure upgrade to ditch its “20th-century technology”. As part of the state’s 2020-21 budget, the government will spend $26.5 million this year alone on upgrading its legacy systems, which will take an estimated four years in total.

Alongside this Tasmania plans to spend $57 million on its Digital Transformation Expenditure Program until 2024. This includes $1.5 million in funding towards the state’s digital health transformation project, split between $500,000 in 2020-21 and $1 million in 2021-22.

Over the next four years, the project’s 2020-21 spend is expected to be the smallest at just $379,000. Following on from this, $1.7 million is scheduled for 2021-22, then $1.6 million in 2022-23 and then $1.3 million in 2023-24.

As part of the digital transformation program, funding will be pulled into a strategy and business case for the state’s Health ICT Plan 2020 to 2030. With this plan, the state aims to digitally transform hospitals, improve patient information outcomes and better manage the Department of Health’s workforce.

The third stage of the state’s Justice Connect program, which was established to address the ageing systems at the state’s Department of Justice, is also taking a slice out of the Digital Transformation Expenditure Program at a price of $6 million, split into equal parts between 2021-22 and 2022-23.

This will see current case management systems will be replaced with a single integrated system, which is expected to support the case management needs of a combined Single Tribunal.

Past the Digital Transformation Expenditure Program, the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management’s Project Unify saw $46.1 million, which is set to be distributed over the next four years, for the upgrade of ageing policing operations ICT systems.

The Department of Health’s human resources information system (HRIS) is set for an overhaul in what the budget documents describe as an “urgent upgrade”, with $21.6 million set aside for the project over the next three years.

The new system will enable the Department to move away from paper-based systems, improving the delivery of critical human resource management systems, the budget noted. Of the spend, $2.1 million is due to be spent in 2020-21, followed by $11 million in 2021-22 and $8.5 million in 2022-23.