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BOM appoints new CIO from Finance

by Ammy Singh •
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As tipped by Intermedium  last month, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has appointed a Department of Finance executive, Dr Lesley Seebeck, as its new Chief of Information Officer (CIO).

Seebeck comes to the role with extensive experience as an ICT mainstay at Finance since 2009.  Seebeck has acted as the Assistant Secretary of Finance’s Digital Government Investment and Assurance branch since March 2014, following the restructuring of the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO).

Prior to this, Seebeck acted as the Assistant Secretary of Finance’s ICT Skills, Capability and Investment branch for a year.

Her appointment as the CIO and Deputy Director of Information Systems and Services at the BOM began this week, with Seebeck taking on responsibility for the adoption of new technology, the development of applications as well as general services, communications and computing.

Among the major projects underway at the Bureau are the creation of a new mobile website, and the replacement of the BOM’s supercomputer and online water storage database.

The mobile website represents a significant shift in the BOM’s response to changing demand from the website’s consumers, with the BOM’s Director of Meteorology, Dr Rob Vertessy, telling a Senate Estimates Enquiry in May that 54 per cent of the Bureau’s website views are sourced from mobile devices, with the Bureau website being the single most visited government website in Australia.

Seebeck will thus oversee the creation of the Bureau’s first mobile weather application, coming into the organisation during a period of rapid ICT developments.

Seebeck will also preside over the eighth upgrade of the Bureau’s supercomputer since 1988, in an attempt to create a faster supercomputer that is better capable of coping with the 500 million unique website visits downloading 3 billion pages worth of information every year on the Bureau’s website.

The supercomputer will be at the heart of the Bureau’s daily weather forecasting activities until the end of its lifespan five years from July 2016. Its tender process is expected to begin in August 2014.

Seebeck’s appointment comes following the departure of former BOM CIO, Robert Lovery, in March this year. Lovery had occupied the position since August 2009, coming into the organisation at a time when the Bureau was implementing widespread changes resulting from the Gershon Review and implementing IT efficiency and cost-cutting programs.


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