Of the CIOs who comprised the CIO Executive Council at the time of the creation of the Super Departments in June 2009, only four (Holling, Ruckley, Roberts and Schnieder) will make the transition to the recently announced CIO Executive Network. With so much new blood at the senior ICT levels, it is inevitable that there will be new ways of thinking and some consequent profound changes to ICT decision making right across the NSW bureaucracy.
In late December it was revealed that the NSW Government Chief Information Office (GCIO) was undergoing major changes in accordance with the recommendations of a review into the NSW ICT Strategy, People First.
The recommendations have resulted in the amalgamation of the Government Chief Information Officer role into the job description of the Director General of the Department of Services, Technology and Administration (DSTA), the division of GCIO staff into operational and policy functions and the creation of an ICT Control Board within the State Contracts Control Board.
The changes also include the abolishment of the former GCIO Executive Council and its replacement with a CIO Executive Network, which will be made up from the heads of technology from each of the 13 Super Departments.
While the previous GCIO Executive Council roughly mirrored this structure, its membership of 19 also included agency-level CIOs from Super Departments already represented and missed several others.
Likely composition of the CIO Executive Network
From the current make-up of the GCIO Executive Council, as well as information about departmental personnel, Intermedium expects that the membership of the CIO Executive Network will be as follows:
1. Department of Premier and Cabinet:Karyn Mercer – Project Director, Integration Reform
2. Communities NSW: David Kennedy – CIO
3. NSW Health: Greg Wells – Acting CIO
4. NSW Treasury: Matthew Phillips – Director, Expenditure Review Directorate
5. Department of Human Services: Kerry Holling – CIO
6. Department of Education and Training:Stephen Loquet – CIO
7. Transport NSW: John Thomas – CIO
8. Department of Justice and Attorney General: Wayne Ruckley – CIO
9. Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water: David Schnieder – Director of ICT
10. Police and Emergency Services: Julie Roberts – Director, Business and Technology Services
11. Department of Services, Technology and Administration: Malcolm Freame – Acting CIO
12. Department of Planning: Unknown
13. Department of Industry and Investment: Boyd Wymer – Director of ICT
After a six month wait, the NSW Department of Education and Training has confirmed that their CIO role will be filled by senior IT executive Stephen Loquet. A spokesperson from the Department told Intermedium on 19 January 2011 that Loquet, who was previously with the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood in a senior ICT role, will commence as head of one of Australia’s biggest IT user bodies on 31 January 2011.
‘Stephen has a strong IT background and a deep understanding of the education sector’, the spokesperson said.
Loquet will replace acting CIO Maria Claudia Romero, who took on the interim role after the DET’s previous technology head, Stephen Wilson, went to Qantas in July 2010.
DET’s long-awaited announcement comes as the NSW Government’s Chief Information Officer’s Executive Council is dissolved to make way for a CIO Executive Network. It is envisaged that several new personnel, including Loquet, will fill the seats of the State’s new ICT governance body, creating something of a new broom to ICT decision making across the State.
Before DET’s announcement of their new CIO in Loquet, the two biggest agencies in NSW, Health and Education, were both represented by Acting CIOs, as is DSTA.
Boyd Wymer, Director of ICT at Industry and Investment, did not hold a seat on the GCIO Executive Council despite the fact that Wymer’s position as Director of ICT at the former Department of Primary Industries was extended to give him oversight of the whole super department when the 13 clusters were formed in July 2009.
Another new face in the Executive Network will be a representative from the Department of Planning who is yet to be named. Planning did not have a representative on the GCIO Executive Council but as a Super Department is expected assume one of the 13 places on the new board.
The reduction of the 19 member GCIO Executive Council to 13 super department representatives will likely see Pedro Harris, CIO at the Land and Property Management Authority lose his seat and instead be represented by Acting DSTA CIO, Malcolm Freame as the Land and Property Network is an agency within the DSTA cluster.
It is also likely that Richard Host, CIO at NSW Fire Brigades, will no longer be part of the new Network. Although NSW Police and NSW Emergency Services split in April 2010 and no longer form a single Super Department, they will still combine their ICT shared services requirements in accordance with the Blueprint for Corporate and Shared Services. As the dominant agency, NSW Police will probably have Julie Roberts as its representative on Executive Network.
And it is also expected that John Kobal, CIO of the Human Services shared services provider Businesslink will no longer sit on the CIO Executive Network as Kerry Holling will represent Human Services. This is in line with the likelihood that the CIO of ServiceFirst will not have a seat at the table either, despite the fact that in terms of scale, ServiceFirst is amongst the largest of the shared services clusters and provides services to seven of the Super Departments represented on the Network.
The GCIO website has not caught up with any of the changes announced pre Christmas except to remove the photo and description of previous GCIO, Emmanuel Rodriguez, who resigned from his role in the face of the changes that had been announced. It continues to describe the GCIO Executive Council as an “advisory body, responsible for overseeing the implementation of People First”. It adds that: “...while responsibility for the implementation and delivery of People First programs remains with the Government Chief Information Office, collaboration with NSW Government agencies through the Council is critical to its success”.
The new CIO Executive Network will take over the advisory body role, providing advice for the development of a new ICT Strategic Plan and overseeing its implementation.
Transition to this new governance model is due to be finalised by the end of quarter 1 2011.