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Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency to replace departing CIO

by Pallavi Singhal •
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The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) has advertised for a new Chief Information Officer, following the departure of Radi Kovacevic in April 2012 to become CIO at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

According to the job listing, the duties of the new CIO will include delivery of the Strategy and Technology Services Branch ICT and Record Management functions, the development of strategies for the DCCEE portfolio and addressing issues “in a whole-of-government manner”.

The successful applicant for the ongoing full-time position is required to have the knowledge and experience to manage multi-disciplinary enterprise ICT functions.

According to the department’s website, the role of CIO also includes responsibility over in-house and externally provided ICT infrastructure and services, including critical non-standard systems such as the Online System for Comprehensive Activity Reporting (OSCAR) and the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Disclosure Tool, which are both used by agencies across the Federal Government.

The selected candidate will also take on one of the DCCEE’s newest ICT responsibilities, overseeing the provision of IT shared services to two new portfolio bodies established to administer a national price on carbon: the Clean Energy Regulator (CER), established in April 2012, and the Climate Change Authority (CCA), established in July 2012.

The CER’s $19 million shared services agreement with the DCCEE covers service provision until 30 June 2013. The contract value represents 28 per cent of the CER’s total operating budget of $68 million for 2012-13, and adds to the cluster of agencies that either directly or indirectly source shared services from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPM&C).

Refreshing “major supplier arrangements through open tender processes” was also listed as a key ICT priority at the DCCEE in its 2011-12 annual report.

Intermedium’s contracts database shows that, with the exception of its shared services arrangements with the DPM&C, the DCCEE’s biggest ICT sourcing relationships include a $7.7 million satellite contract with BAE Systems (expiring in November 2013) and a $7 million contract with Salesforce for contact centre services (expiring in February 2014).

Recent changes to the DCCEE internal IT structure include the Strategy and Technology Services Branch splitting from the eBusiness and Information Services Branch to become the sole supplier of ICT services department-wide. The eBusiness and Information Services Branch was moved across to the Program Delivery Division of the CER.

According to the Annual Report, the Strategy and Technology Services Branch will continue to provide “high-priority and executive level desktop support to department and ministerial offices” and an assortment of network, telephone and service desk support services.

Another challenge for the IT department will be the relocation of ICT components, including IT service delivery, applications, security and records management, to the new DCCEE headquarters in the New Acton Nishi building, set to take place by the end of 2012. The move will also require a change in hosting arrangements and the building of new IT infrastructure. The overall cost of the project is estimated to be $20.5 million.

Earlier this year, the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) reported that the DCCEE would cut 300 jobs, one-third of its workforce. The government’s budget review repudiated pre-budget speculation, stating that the department’s 344 staff cuts were largely offset by its agencies, the CCA, CER and Low Carbon Australia picking up 305 staff, leaving a difference of “just 39 jobs”. According to the review, the CER is expected to eventually employ a total 355 staff.

Intermedium has previously reported that the CER signed $2.5 million worth of ICT labour hire contracts between April and July, most likely to cover its start-up requirements.

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