7 October 2021

ACT Budget: Flexi hubs for public servants, new Cyber Security Centre

| Ian Bushnell
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ACT Government Public Service building

The ACT Government Public Service building in Civic. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

ACT public servants currently working from home due to the pandemic will soon be able to operate from new ‘flexi-hubs’ to be developed in existing office space in Tuggeranong and Belconnen as part of the ACT Government’s Flexible Work program.

The Budget papers show the government will spend $2.5 million over four years to refurbish the Town Centre offices to support new ways of working.

ACT public servants will be able to commute to a town centre hub to work rather than having to go to centralised offices in the city or Dickson.

The Budget papers say the money will also enhance the flexible work practices established in the new Civic and Dickson Office Buildings.

The COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown have forced government agencies to keep their staff at home and many will continue to work remotely even when the economy opens up as hybrid models of work are adopted.

The hubs will provide another option for staff who may want more social interaction and a properly fitted out workspace but also want a more convenient commute.

The government will also spend $7.7 million over four years to support the further consolidation of ACT Public Service accommodation, as existing leases for office space end.

The government will lease and fit out the mezzanine level within the Civic Office Building and provide funding for additional leased space within the City precinct to permanently accommodate Elections ACT.

The funding will support flexible workspaces for public servants and ease existing space pressures and security issues within the ACT Legislative Assembly building.

The government will also establish a Cyber Security Centre to improve its resilience to potential cyber-attacks and better protect the ACT Government ICT network, at a cost of $10 million over four years.

Last April it established a Cyber Security Hub after two audit reports found the government’s computer systems were vulnerable to attack and its cyber security policies were lacking.

In 2019, a cyber attack stole thousands of public servants’ contact details.

The ACT public sector has grown to meet the demands of the pandemic response and also the ACT’s growth areas such as Gungahlin and Molonglo.

Staff numbers in government agencies have grown from 22,632 in 2019-20 to 24,141 this budget. A further 532 staff work in government business enterprises.

The biggest growth areas are health and education, especially teachers, and the government has committed to hiring more teacher librarians.

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