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ACS Week In Review: 7 February 2013

Friday, 07 Feb 2014

Over the last week we’ve seen some dramatic changes taking place in the technology industry, including Glenn Archer’s departure from the Australian Government CIO role. We at the ACS wish Mr Archer all the best for the future, and thank him for his contribution to the inaugural ACS Future Leader’s Institute, which is currently winding up in Northern NSW.

Remember to join the ACS LinkedIn Group to contribute to topical discussions, and discover relevant promotions and career opportunities. Just search Australian Computer Society on LinkedIn and request membership today.

Australia’s CIO Glenn Archer Quits

In a surprise move, Australia's chief information officer Glenn Archer is leaving the public service on Monday.

Mr Archer who took on the job at the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) only a year ago, told his Twitter followers Monday would be his last day.

The surprise resignation comes a little over a year after his predecessor Ann Steward resigned. That move and various recommendations to refocus the agency, prompted AGIMO to announce a restructure and the splitting of Ms Steward's role.

Former first assistant secretary, policy and planning at the agency, Mr Archer took on the job of CIO to lead strategy, governance and policy investment advice, while John Sheridan, former first assistant secretary, agency services division, became chief technology officer, overseeing ICT service delivery. 

At the time, Mr Archer quipped to his followers: "“Big shoes to fill – and it takes 2 it seems!”.

On Monday he said it would be sad to say farewell but he was "looking forward to moving on". It was not immediately clear where Mr Archer would go. The Department of Finance declined to comment, except to confirm that "effective close of business today, Mr Archer will have retired from the Australian Public Service."

Tasmanian aerial NBN plan well received, says Aurora

A Tasmanian Government proposal to complete the state's NBN fibre rollout aerially has been informally "favourably received" by NBN Co, according to the utility whose power poles would be used in the plan.

Aurora Energy's service delivery general manager Michael Larkin told a Senate committee hearing in Hobart today that the aerial proposal, drafted by the utility for the state government, would be cheaper than putting cables underground.

Larkin said principles contained in the state's proposal — which has been sent to the federal government — were "reasonably well regarded".

But the state would have to wait for the outcome "of other processes" before it could expect a formal response to the plan.

The federal government has already conducted a strategic review of the NBN and is weighing the six rollout options the review laid out.



Australian government IT apprenticeships hit, graduate program unaffected

The Department of Finance has said that all graduates who were offered a position in the Australian government IT graduate program have been able to take up those positions, despite a government-wide freeze on almost all new external hiring, and reports that the number of IT apprenticeships has been slashed.

In November, the Commonwealth government implemented a hiring freeze for public sector jobs, with external advertisements put out for only "critical vacancies" and specialist roles. The aim is to reduce the size of the public sector by approximately 12,000 through natural attrition.

The Canberra Times reported earlier this week that eight of 40 year 12 graduates who had applied for the Australian Government Information Management Office were told that they were they were no longer able to participate in the program due to the public sector hiring freeze.

According to the report, the Australian Federal Police has withdrawn from the program completely.

Free Wi-Fi for inner Brisbane

Brisbane City Council’s free Wi-Fi network is expanding.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk announced on Thursday the initiative would move to three of the city’s busiest hubs, the Queen Street Mall, South Bank and Victoria Bridge, in April.

Free Wi-Fi is already on offer in 22 outdoor locations across the city including Brisbane Botanic Gardens, King George Square and New Farm Park, as well as in libraries and on CityCat ferries.

Cr Quirk said nearly one million people took advantage of the city’s outdoor connectivity last year.

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“I want free Wi-Fi in the Queen Street Mall and South Bank to be our city’s legacy of the G20,” he said.

“This project will allow the 17,000 people a day who travel over the Victoria Bridge to get between South Bank and the Queen Street Mall, to remain connected on the go.”

Cr Quirk described the expansion of council’s free Wi-Fi initiative as the next step in creating a digital Brisbane.