The Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) is seeking a new Chief Information Officer (CIO) ahead of the move of DVA ICT infrastructure to the Department of Human Services (DHS).
According to the description on APS Jobs, the new CIO will be primarily responsible for all DVA’s ICT services and solutions and “play an important role in underpinning business change through new and enhanced ICT solutions and will drive key projects including the implementation of a Shared Services partnership”. The new CIO will also offer strategic advice to the Secretary, Deputy President, the Executive Management Group and the Information Committee, and will oversee “major upgrades to DVA’s Business Systems and initiatives to optimise and reduce cost or risk across the ICT portfolio of services". The role was previously held by Narelle Dotta, who has since been promoted to General Manager, Corporate Services.
According to the DHS 2009-10 Annual Report, DVA entered into a formal ‘shared service’ arrangement with DHS in March 2010, following evaluation of a formal proposal from DHS. “The transitioning of services from DVA to DHS is planned to occur in 2010–11, with an arrangement to extend for an initial period of five years. The services in scope for a shared service arrangement are not visible to customers and comprise ICT infrastructure environments and operational support,” the report states.
In July 2010 Centrelink was awarded a contract of $15.14 million for “project management and technical services associated with the transition of DVA’s ICT infrastructure services to Centrelink/Department of Human Services”.
Intermedium’s Managing Director Judy Hurditch says the contract signals that the traditional infrastructure outsourcers now have clear – and perhaps formidable – competition from shared services arrangements emanating from within the Federal Government itself.
The contract is likely to have implications for the contractual agreements in place between DVA and IBM. However, a statement on the DVA website explains that the Information and Communication Technology Solutions Group (ICTSG) within DVA – which manages the agency’s ICT functions – has had a “long-standing partnership with IBM and continues to leverage off their capabilities”.
DVA’s $90 million managed services contract with IBM has an expiry date in April 2011, which is in line with the statement in the DHS annual report that the new arrangements are intended to be implemented in 2010-11.
As one of the key DHS portfolio agencies, providing infrastructure services across the DHS portfolio, Centrelink also has a long-standing relationship with IBM with a current $190 million contract expiring in December 2011 for provision of hardware (large computer systems).
In a statement issued on May 21 2010, Deputy Secretary, ICT Infrastructure, Human Services Portfolio John Wadeson emphasised the benefits of a shared services environment for government service delivery.
“The Australian Government’s Service Delivery Reform agenda makes it clear that we must change the way we work so that it’s centred more on the customer. Obviously ICT infrastructure will be integral to this agenda, both in the visible public sense where agencies are co-located under one roof, and the back-room machinery.
“We will be integrating what are presently several agency-centric ICT infrastructure environments into a unified portfolio infrastructure capable of delivering services for many agencies more efficiently,” Mr Wadeson said.
“The ICT agenda for this year, apart from making the one website and one phone number happen, is to come up with a comprehensive plan for complete ICT infrastructure integration,” he added.