NSW Government CIOs share what's on and what's next

Tim Catley, Chris Robson, Aaron Liu, Tim Hume and Dr Zoran Bolevich discuss current and future IT works in their agencies.

By George Nott
Sept. 26, 2016

NSW state government CIOs met with their peers last week at a GovDC Marketplace event in Sydney, to share their current IT works and visions of the future. Here's what they had to say:

Tim Catley, CIO, Transport NSW

The lead agency of the NSW Transport cluster, covering road, rail, ferry, light rail, point to point, regional air, cycling and walking, was working towards a multi-vendor model, Catley explained.

"It gives more flexibility both commercially and technically," he said, "We can mix and match vendors. Having a variety of service providers means we're not tied to one entity and when the time comes for that contract to end and we have to move onto something else, we're not in a situation where we have to do large scale transformation in the way we do at the moment. It's tough getting there, but once we get there it's much better."

Last week the agency released an app so travelers can report and take photos of a dirty carriage or bus, which feed into a customer service environment and into the maintenance system so crews can ensure it is cleaned up. Next month winning entries into a competition for new uses for the network of Bluetooth beacons already set up at Chatswood Station and bus interchange will be trialled.

The agency was also on a drive to open more of its data to third parties, part of the Future Transport program launched in April. Catley said the agency was becoming the "middle man" between the data and potential service providers and app developers. Technology advances made it a "fascinating" time for the sector, Catley added.

"The job for us is not to be playing catch up but to get ahead and understand the ramifications that come from that [new technology]. We've really got a role in not just how that technology is getting implemented but how we legislate for it, and how we support these new modes of transport as well."

Chris Robson, CIO, NSW Police Force

"The problem that policing agencies need to solve - at a state and national level - we've known for some time we can't solve by working in isolation from each other," Robson said. "The secret to us fulfilling our role, in prevention and the delivery of a safer society, is our ability to share and exchange data with other agencies."

Robson said this sharing of data was being aided by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), which formed in July this year, and the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD).

"We're conscious of data sovereignty and issues like security but we also get a lot of frameworks and support from that commission. When I came to work at police five years ago cloud was an impossibility. Now we've got a number of providers that are on the ASD certified providers list. So nationally we've been on a journey towards working out how to make this work."

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