Criminal intelligence agency appoints new CIO after restructure

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Criminal intelligence agency appoints new CIO after restructure

As fingerprint database overhaul gets underway.

Australia's peak criminal intelligence agency has appointed Samuel Lewis as its new chief information officer after restructuring its technology division last year.

Lewis, who was previously the agency’s chief technology officer, will assume the top job at the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission from next week.

He had been acting in the role since December, overseeing critical national information and intelligence sharing services and systems used by state and territory policing agencies.

Lewis takes the role from former CIO Stewart Sibree, who has in turn become the interim executive director of the new intelligence and information systems division.

iTnews understands Sibree replaced Rochelle Thorne following her retirement at the end of June 2021, and before that spent 18 months as acting technology executive director.

Deputy CEO Anne Brown told iTnews the new division had been created to “recognise the critical enable capability that technology provides to the operations of the ACIC”.

She said Sibree will act in the role of executive director until a permanent replacement is found to lead the division.

As CIO, Lewis will lead the CIO branch, ensuring the availability, continuity and security of the ACIC’s ICT. which supports critical national law enforcement systems.

Brown said Lewis brings a “wealth of technical known and experience to the role”, having spent the last two years as CTO.

Lewis' appointment comes as the ACIC gets underway with as second attempt at upgrading its 20-year-old national automated fingerprint identification system (NAFIS).

In November, the agency signed a $180 million deal with incumbent provider IDEMIA to deliver a “fully upgraded, supported system, with protected government cloud capability”.

The new project comes three years after ACIC dumped its contract with NEC Australia for the former NAFIS overhaul known as the biometrics identification solution (BIS) project.

The ACIC is also continuing to work with the Department of Home Affairs to onboard state-based policing agencies to the national criminal intelligence system (NCIS).

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