US federal government to increase cybersecurity cooperation with state and local officials; UK plans space sustainability standard: policy and delivery news in brief

By on 30/06/2022 | Updated on 30/06/2022
Shaking hands illustration cyber security
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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US federal government to increase cybersecurity cooperation with state and local officials

US federal officials will provide training in cybersecurity to state and local officials under new legislation signed by president Joe Biden.

The State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act aims to improve cooperation and coordination between the different layers of the US government, with the Department for Homeland Security required to provide training for state and local agencies in areas including threats, appropriate cybersecurity measures and advice on how to respond to incidents.

The legislation was authored by US Senators Gary Peters and Rob Portman, who said state and local governments need some additional help or access to expertise to address increasing cybersecurity threats.

As well as empowering the federal government to provide state and local officials with improved security tools, policies and procedures, it is also intended to ensure that government officials and their staffs have access to the hardware and software products needed to bolster their own cyber defences.

UK government to create space sustainability standard

The UK government has launched a plan to boost the “safe and sustainable” commercial use of space.

Science minister George Freeman has set out plans to incentivise companies to adopt best practice in space sustainability and officially recognise those who take steps to minimise their footprint on the Earth’s orbit.

In particular, the standard will help to make the UK a more attractive place to operate and invest and help unlock sustainable private investment in space in areas such as satellite development.

Speaking at the Space Sustainability Summit at the Science Museum in London, Freeman said that the huge increase in commercial satellite launches will see tens of thousands of small satellites launched in the next 10 years, but a ‘”wild west space race” risked a growing crisis of debris.

“To harness space for sustainability, we need an agreed framework of standards for measuring and managing debris, improving satellite repair and retrieval and kite-marking genuinely sustainable supply chains,” he said.

Australian government appoints top official to lead public sector redesign

The Australian government has appointed a senior official to lead a reform programme to grow the capability of the Australian Public Service (APS).

As part of a number of appointments of secretaries in the APS, prime minister Anthony Albanese assigned Dr Gordon de Brouwer the newly-created role of secretary for public sector reform.

Albanese said de Brouwer, who previously served as secretary of the Department of the Environment and Energy, will work with Peter Woolcott, the Australian Public Service Commissioner, and Katy Gallagher, the minister for public service to “lead and implement a wide range of public sector reforms which will support my commitment to place greater value on the public service and to grow its capability”.

de Brouwer’s appointment follows Albanese naming Glyn Davis secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) and head of the APS, following his victory in the election on 21 May.

Read in full: Australian government appoints top official to lead public sector redesign

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About Richard Johnstone

Richard Johnstone is the executive editor of Global Government Forum, where he helps to produce editorial analysis and insight for the title’s audience of public servants around the world. Before joining GGF, he spent nearly five years at UK-based title Civil Service World, latterly as acting editor, and has worked in public policy journalism throughout his career.

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