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Key messages from Centrelink’s new CIO, John Wadeson

by Kim James •
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In one of his first public engagements as Centrelink’s new CIO, John Wadeson flagged the year ahead as one of “significant challenge” for the agency. Speaking at the AIIA Canberra Managers' Forum on Thursday, Mr Wadeson said that having a new minister with responsibility for on-the-ground service delivery and achieving synergies across the various agencies in the Department of Human Services were major drivers for change.

“We’ve been talking whole-of-government for years,” he said. “I assure you – this is it.” He gave the extension of Centrelink’s family systems to Medicare offices as an example of the service delivery advantages offered by the new arrangements.

Mr Wadeson told the forum that he was satisfied with progress on Centrelink’s Refresh program, with completion of a new debt system, first online claims, creation of a VPN for remote access, automated validation of employer identity with the ATO and repair of “internal stress fractures” major achievements in the first year. A staff portal will also come on line next month.

Centrelink now offers 31 online services used by 250,000 people per week, and will continue to extend these in the years ahead.

Areas of interest to Centrelink for this next year are likely to include:

  • Customer portals
  • Identity management for customers, including smartcards
  • Relational database management system
  • Business intelligence
  • Security management
  • DASD, network storage, desktop and services support tenders
  • Continued extension of online services.

Mr Wadeson also talked about Centrelink’s relationship with the industry, which he admitted had “waxed and waned” over the years. He said that Centrelink had a history of preferring to “do it themselves”. However, he was working actively to make better use of Centrelink’s panels. Mr Wadeson indicated that Centrelink was considering a briefing day for potential suppliers, who he felt often didn’t understand Centrelink’s operational environment.

Appointed CIO, earlier this year, Mr Wadeson replaced the high-profile Jane Treadwell, now CIO for the Victorian public sector.

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