About Maitland City Council
Maitland is built on the banks of the Hunter River. It is a key city in the Hunter Region, and is one of Australia’s oldest regional centres and fastest growing inland cities.
The local government area of Maitland City Council (MCC) covers 396km² from Woodberry in the east, to Lochinvar in the west, and from Tocal in the north, to Gillieston Heights in the south. Nearly 70,000 residents are settled in town centres, new and growing suburbs, and quiet rural areas. The residents come from a broad cross section of society, and by 2023 it is expected that about 90,000 people will call the city home.
The Council has 450 users working with a variety of applications including Microsoft 365 and Teams, MapInfo for geographic information, Reflect for asset maintenance, and IPFX for telephony.
The core corporate system, Horizon, performs all of the traditional local government services such as financials; payroll; procurement; receipting; property management; development applications and post approval certificates; contribution plans; document management; and cemetery administration. A recent external digital capacity and capability review looked at all of the Council’s line of business applications as part of the process to produce a digital transformation roadmap. The roadmap provides guidance for increasing Council’s digital maturity and challenges current thinking around service delivery, for example MCC have a few SaaS instances currently, however, the recommendation from the recent review will see a more aggressive move to the cloud, and increased mobile enablement of applications.
The number of IT policies at MCC was quite limited, only user access; the use of email and internet services; and ICT equipment were covered, with no reference or links to standards it was acknowledged that improvement was needed.
Although the Council had policy writers within the ICT Team, time and resources along with constant change in the ICT environment always seemed to be against them.
The ICT team had focussed on implementing good security controls using settings within appliances such as the gateway routers or user logon requirements for software, however, there was not enough policy content underpinning these good operational practices.
The key drivers for MCC’s move to a more effective policy environment was to provide better governance around ICT use and security, which would also then enhance Council’s capacity to meet the requirements of the NSW Auditor General.
Kaon Security’s Policy Management as a Service offering provides a good foundation of policies that are referenced to standards applicable to MCC. The content in the Policy System is kept up to date by Kaon’s policy experts, ensuring ongoing audit and best practice alignment.
The System includes:
- 25 key policies – for user, manager and technical roles
- Audit requirement details and compliance index
- Process and Procedures section
- Forms, Logs and Guidelines content
- Security Awareness videos
- Various search and system navigation tools
“Working with the Kaon experts during the workshop proved to be extremely valuable. It gave us a good understanding of the policies required for the organisation and a sense of comfort that our ICT systems are appropriately covered.” comments Jon Dundas - Manager Business Systems.
“After the system was implemented, our second audit was much easier with the new policies available for review by the auditors and no changes were required.’ Says Jon.
The ICT Team have inductions for new users including acceptance of the policies.
MCC plan to get further engagement from the organisation by using the PolicyConnect online training tool, also supplied by Kaon Security.
PolicyConnect integrates with the IT Policy System to help improve IT security awareness through delivering key messages from the System to the desktop of users, managers and technical staff.