DTA adds cyber security to its $7bn govt watchlist

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DTA adds cyber security to its $7bn govt watchlist

Spending comes under the spotlight.

The Digital Transformation Agency will start monitoring agency spending on cyber security across the federal government from April this year.

The DTA was handed $10.7 million over four years in the 2017 federal budget to establish a cyber security advisory office within its digital investment management function, which is in charge of monitoring a $7 billion watchlist of Commonwealth IT projects.

The CSAO is intended to act as a central governance and assurance authority for cyber security and ensure "cyber security remains front and centre for all government ICT and digital projects".

It stemmed from a savage late 2016 review by the Prime Minister's special adviser on cyber security Alastair MacGibbon into that year's online Census disaster, which found many agencies across government weren't properly equipped to handle cyber security incidents.

Over the past nine months the DTA has embarked on a recruitment campaign to staff the cyber office.

Today newly-christened cyber minister Angus Taylor revealed the office would begin collecting "highly detailed data" on the Commonwealth's cyber security spending from April.

"I am committed to implementing the same kind of rigour in our investment decisions in cyber as we had in digital," Taylor told the National Press Club on Thursday.

"[We will need] more consultation, with ministers, secretaries and CIOs earlier in the development pipeline of projects.

"And it will mean data – we need more data on how much we spend, how we are progressing against our milestones and the value we have achieved.

"I really do think that this approach will be fundamentally important to the cyber agenda."

Taylor said around $325 million of the federal government's annual $6 billion IT spend went to security.

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