New faces join Federal Government’s peak ICT Board


The composition of the Federal Government’s peak ICT decision-making body, the Secretaries’ ICT Governance Board (SIGB), has undergone serious changes following a number of high profile moves within the most senior levels of its bureaucracy.

At its most recent meeting, on 10 December 2012, the Board acknowledged the departure of former Commissioner of Taxation Michael D’Ascenzo, Secretary of the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) Peter Harris, and CEO of GeoScience Australia Dr Chris Pigram from its ranks.

D’Ascenzo and Harris will both leave their respective agencies to take up advisory roles for the Government.

It is not yet clear whether the new heads of the Australian Taxation Office or DBCDE will also enjoy seats on the Board.

SIBG Chair and Secretary of the Department of Finance and Deregulation, David Tune, advised that “consideration was being given in relation to potential candidates to fill the vacancies and that he would advise members of further appointments as soon as possible”.

Pigram will not leave his role at Geoscience Australia but will vacate his SIGB seat to make way for Director-General of the National Archives of Australia David Fricker. Like Pigram, Fricker will act as a representative of smaller Federal agencies.

The Board also recognised the service of Ann Steward, who was not a member of the SIGB but attended meetings in her capacity as Australian Government CIO. Steward announced her retirement in November last year. New Australian Government CIO Glenn Archer will attend from now on.

The SIGB is the primary authority on whole-of-government ICT policy in the Federal Government. It was formed it 2009 in response to the findings of the 2008 Gershon Review, which recommended the Government adopt a more coordinated approach to ICT governance.

It is responsible for the implementation of the recently released Australian Public Service ICT Strategy, as well as identifying potential areas for common ICT approaches across government (i.e. procurement panels), assessing agency requests for opt-outs from these common approaches, and setting the annual work plan of the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO).

At its December meeting the SIGB also assessed its options when it comes to consolidating and standardising grants management across the Government, and concluded that a single whole-of-government solution was unlikely to meet the needs of all of the FMA Act agencies that would be required to use it.

It instead resolved to work on common business processes and the development of a standard taxonomy to support the alignment of grants management across government. Work will be lead by AGIMO.

The Board was also updated on the progress of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s replacement of its CabNet high security documents dissemination system.

Related Articles:

The Federal Government’s ICT Strategy: what will it change?

PM’s Department chases funding for CABNET redevelopment

Federal Agencies Publish Procurement Plans

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