The Victorian Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Victorian Supreme Court have come to an interim agreement which should – at least temporarily – placate the security concerns raised by Chief Justice Marilyn Warren about the move to a centralised IT system.
In the latest Annual Report for the Victorian Supreme Court, Justice Warren spoke out against plans to migrate the Supreme Court’s IT systems to the State Government’s central ICT supplier, CenITex. She expressed concern that outsourcing to an external body could allow sensitive data to fall into the wrong hands.
“The Court handles sensitive and confidential personal, security and commercial information provided by parties such as the State and Federal Police with organised crime and terrorism cases, the Office of Police Integrity with police corruption cases and commercial law firms acting for national and multi-national corporations involving key business and market cases,” explained Warren in the report.
“An external ‘helpdesk’ operated by non-court staff with the capacity to view and control judges’ desktops which include confidential documents and connections to draft judgments is not what we would regard as a high quality, independent IT system,” she added.
However, a DoJ spokesperson has told Intermedium that an interim arrangement has been agreed to, allowing the system migration to go ahead.
"The CenITex IT system has been implemented in the Supreme Court and all other Victorian courts, with arrangements in place to address the Chief Justice’s concerns. The Department and the Court have reached an interim agreement which provides the Court with significantly enhanced security measures to ensure their concerns have been addressed,” the spokesperson said.
While it is unknown what the specific conditions of the arrangement are, the DoJ spokesperson made clear that Justice Warren was initially lobbying for an independent ICT system for the State’s highest court.
“The Court is discussing with government the prospect of special independent arrangements to protect the integrity of our IT system. Such arrangements already exist with other agencies where IT security is critical,” she said.
The Supreme Court’s media office has indicated these special arrangements have already been extended to Victoria Police regarding shared services.
Whatever these conditions may be, however, the Police still seem set to make the transfer to CenITex, with the latest Annual Report from the shared service provider stating that they have undergone the early stages of engagement the department regarding the transfer of Police requirements.