Case Study - Broken Hill City Council

Broken Hill City Council IT Policy Lite System Implementation

About Broken Hill
The city of Broken Hill is the largest regional centre in the western half of New South Wales, and is the strategic centre of far west New South Wales. It lies close to the border of South Australia and midway between the borders of Queensland and Victoria.  Although located within New South Wales, Broken Hill has strong cultural and historical connections with South Australia.

Connected by air, rail and road and with all the facilities that one would expect of a regional city, the far west New South Wales region relies heavily on Broken Hill for essential services and connectivity.

It is Australia’s longest lived mining city, where some of the world’s major mining companies were founded on the rich mineral deposits, and where safe working practices and workers legislation were first developed. In January 2015 Broken Hill became Australia’s first National Heritage Listed city.

Background
Broken Hill City Council (BHCC) has 180 computer users that access a range of applications including Microsoft Office, Civica Authority (Financials, Payroll, Asset Management, CRM), Content Manager (Records Management), GIS (Mapinfo, Spatial Spectrum) and a range of other software packages. The Council IT network infrastructure is largely hosted on premise and supports 10 remote sites that provide a range of services including roads, waste services, parks & gardens, visitor information, a cemetery, a library, archives, a mining & mineral museum, an art gallery and event management.

Recently BHCC has also embarked on a smart city strategy, having deployed CBD wide Wi-Fi and smart parking. Selected sites in the city are using smart lighting and CCTV, plus a smart bins trial is underway.

The Council’s IT policies were reasonably old and out of date. A recent audit recommended a review of existing polices to align with industry standards and a focus on current and future threats.

Challenges 

  • The existing policies were written and developed at different times and were therefore disjointed, with many requiring a thorough review before being updated.
  • As policy review dates fell due, someone had to conduct time consuming research into contemporary IT policy standards.
  • Writing/maintaining content was a tedious task that wasn’t a priority, resulting in policy review delays.
  • BHCC felt a means of informing staff about IT policies through a new interface was needed to help improve the security posture throughout the organisation – particularly for longer serving staff who had completed their IT inductions some years ago and needed a refresher induction based on current best practice IT policies and standards.

Solution
Kaon Security offered an off the shelf comprehensive system that was a cost effective solution for BHCC. Selecting the Policy Lite System ensures that the Council’s policies are aligned to their business requirements, industry standards and themes. Users recognise that this isn’t just an internal requirement, but one that also sees BHCC aligning with standards that are implemented across a variety of both Government & non-government organisations.

Kaon’s delivery methodology included the following steps:

  • Completion of a questionnaire
  • Preparation of the first draft version
  • First draft version available in the cloud
  • Online review conducted with BHCC stakeholders
  • Wording changes enacted to produce the final version
  • Final version available in the cloud
  • Benefits

The Kaon Security implementation process guided the BHCC Information Services team through an online workshop and review to ensure that policies were aligned to standards. The process helped the project to stay on schedule, provided a framework to progress, and ensured that staff were still free to work on other projects, system administration tasks and user support. This was particularly important given that the council only have a small team with which to provide Information Services.

Ongoing, BHCC know the contents of their IT Policy System will be kept updated by Kaon Security under their subscription contract. This means key aspects such as advice, policy editing and any changes to the underlying standards in the system are taken care of, which represents a significant saving for the council in terms of time, effort and money.

“The guided process worked well in a remote location like Broken Hill. By utilising GotoMeeting, Kaon delivered as per the agreed timeline and the implementation process was seamless.” -  Gerald VanDenHeuvel, Manager Information Services.

Leadership
Now that policies have been updated and aligned to standards, the Information Services team have engaged with the Council Human Resources team to conduct information sessions with all staff. These sessions step through the Policy Lite System, which is known within council as the BHCC Information Services Standards. It’s also an opportunity to demonstrate how easily the documentation can be located & accessed. Staff are required to acknowledge that they have attended an information session and are aware of the new and revised standards.

Gerald comments “We are now in a good position to communicate to staff how to reduce risk through improved compliance, create an awareness of their responsibilities and to ensure Council meets legislative requirements"

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