ASIO to appoint its first CIO, expand IT

ASIO to appoint its first CIO, expand IT

The federal government's funding hike in response to a "complex security environment" will see the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) appoint its first CIO this year with 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 SES band 2, reflecting the organization's increased appreciation of IT.

An ASIO spokesperson said the organization is undertaking a recruitment drive to fulfill the federal government's stated aim of doubling its staff over the five years to 2011.

"Recruitment is taking place across all areas, including IT, to bring the total number of staff to 1860 by 2011," the spokesperson told Computerworld. "Effective management of information is at the heart of ASIO's capability as an intelligence organization."

While coy about the specific information and technology environment the new CIO will preside over, the spokesperson talked up ASIO's use of "cutting-edge" systems.

"ASIO uses advanced technology and analytical tools to assist with investigations, decision making, and the provision of advice," the spokesperson said. "It continues to invest heavily in cutting-edge data management and analytical systems."

ASIO identified "maintaining its capability to collect and store ever increasing volumes of information" as one of its key challenges.

"As information is received it needs to be assimilated into databases and retrievable in ways that allow seemingly unconnected fragments to be placed into a bigger picture [or] 'joining the dots'," the spokesperson said, adding ASIO is seeking someone with proven leadership experience and an ability to manage corporate information services.

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

The role is based in Canberra and will pay around $160,000 including a "privately plated vehicle, superannuation, and performance pay".

Also on the new CIO's agenda will be provision of strategic direction on ASIO's records management infrastructure.

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

ASIO pledges to keep all applications in strict confidence and requests that applicants "not discuss your application with others".

Applications should be sent via Hudson Government Recruitment's Canberra office and must be received by March 27.

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