Former Department of Defence executive Rochelle Thorne has been appointed the new head of technology at Australia’s law enforcement information sharing super-agency.
Thorne will lead the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission's IT functions, with responsibility for maintaining 16 critical national systems that provide support to policing and law enforcement around forensics, firearms and domestic violence.
ACIC was created after the nation’s two law enforcement information sharing organisations – CrimTrac and the Australian Crime Commission – merged in July 2016. It sits within the similarly new Department of Home Affairs.
Thorne has spent the last three and half years as an assistant secretary in Defence’s enterprise technology operations branch, and before that worked various roles at the Department of Human Services, including as national manager of its corporate systems branch.
She is the first permanent IT leader at the agency since former CrimTrac chief information officer Lee Walton left the role at the start of February last year.
The agency is currently working on a new national criminal intelligence system to replace the Australia criminal intelligence database (ACID), which has been used by federal, state and territory law enforcement agencies for the past 30 years to share and analyse information.
The new system will provide an integrated view of criminal intelligence and information to avoid agencies doubling up on investigations.
ACIC has already piloted the system with around 400 users from across Australian and international law enforcement and regulatory agencies, and is now appealing to the federal government to fund the full capability.
The agency is also planning to introduce a new biometric information services platform that would replace the national automated fingerprint identification system.
Thorne commences the role on Monday.