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Heads up: New CIO for Qld's public safety portfolio

by Tajna Biscevic •
Free resource

Declan Rooney, former Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the Department of Housing and Public Works (DHPW), has been appointed the new CIO at the Public Safety Business Agency (PSBA), taking charge of the ICT needs of Queensland’s public safety portfolio.

Rooney took up his new position on 26 June 2018, according to a PSBA spokesperson. The position had been filled in acting capacity by PSBA's Director for ICT Transformation & Business Services Greg Watts since September 2016, when Jenson Spencer left to become inaugural Chief Digital Officer (CDO) at Queensland Police Service (QPS).

Rooney “brings extensive experience in the areas of management, business strategy and planning, IT strategy, contract negotiation, business development, client and vendor management, leadership and performance management”, according to the spokesperson.

Prior to being CIO of DHPW, Rooney was CIO of the Department of State Development, and the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning. According to his LinkedIn, he has also worked across various business areas within the private sector.

PSBA’s ICT direction

PSBA was stood up in May 2014 and is tasked with delivering corporate and business support services to agencies in the public safety portfolio, including QPS, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, the Office of the Inspector-General Emergency Management and Queensland Ambulance Services (QAS).

As the new CIO, Rooney will be taking charge of an organisation in the midst of significant institutional changes.

A November 2015 review of the PSBA by the Queensland Public Service Commission recommended the implementation of a new approach to systems infrastructure and the appointment of a “change leader” to transition the PSBA towards integrating critical systems and processes to realise the economies of scale that could be achieved within the portfolio model.

The review suggested the development of a long-term ICT investment strategy, covering architecture planning in anticipation of hardware, software and system changes; planning for user support and training; and security considerations.

PSBA engaged Accenture to develop a 10-year ICT strategy and four-year ICT investment plan for all portfolio agencies. According to the agency’s 2016-17 Annual Report, Queensland government accepted the new ICT strategy and the ICT investment roadmap in May 2017.

The implementation of the strategy and investment roadmap will likely be Rooney’s priority as CIO. He will also be responsible for “address[ing] identified gaps in current ICT performance which includes the development and implementation of contemporary ICT infrastructure and practices to keep pace with the market", according to the October 2017 job advertisement.

Suppliers may be able to look forward to greater innovation and more informed tech investments from Queensland public safety agencies. PSBA was already an early adopter of cloud, approaching the market in March 2014 for a cluster-wide human capital management and payroll software-as-a-service to replace the LATTICE payroll systems used by some of the public safety agencies.

In the 2018-19 Queensland State Budget, the PSBA received $8.9 million to deliver ICT upgrades and enhancements to support the Queensland Ambulance Services.

DPHW and Queensland’s WofG ICT

Recently, DPHW has undergone a series of machinery-of-government (MoG), which have seen it take on responsibility for whole-of-government (WofG) ICT with WofG CIO Andrew Mills now located in DPHW.

In December 2017, Queensland gained a dedicated digital technology minister – Mick de Brenni, also Minister for Housing and Public Works – with responsibility for open data, digital economy, and shared services systems. Certain functions of the previous Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation moved to DPHW, including Smart Service Queensland, Strategic ICT and Queensland Shared Services.

Another MoG change in February 2018 then moved the entirety of the Queensland Government Chief Information Office into DPHW, including the One Stop Shop Strategy and Implementation office.

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