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New NSW CIO Faces Tough Road Ahead

by Staff Writers •
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The long-awaited announcement of the new NSW Government Chief Information Officer (GCIO) was made last week by Minister for Commence Eric Roozendaal. Mr Emmanuel Rodriguez has been named as the State's new GCIO.

Mr Rodriguez, who is already resident in Sydney, has most recently been running his own consulting company Baysville Consulting Services. He will start in his new role in early November 2007.

Mr Rodriguez was formerly Prudential Corporation Asia CIO, where he worked closely with up to 15 subordinate CIOs in what appears to have been a matrix management arrangement not unlike the one he will face as NSW CIO.

The Minister's announcement indicated that Mr Rodriguez had been selected because of his communications and leadership credentials and strong business development background in the financial and services sectors. Prior to his 5 years at the Hong Kong based Prudential Corporation Asia, Mr Rodriguez held the role of CIO of Corporate Systems at Societe Generale.

In 2005, Mr Rodriguez implemented CoBIT at Prudential stating in a case study that he was a strong supporter because it provided: IT governance; cost-cutting; security; outsourcing; communication; value-adding solutions; and risk assessment. A deep appreciation of these issues will be vital to Mr Rodriguez in his new role.

NSW is well behind other jurisdictions in its aims to overhaul the State Government IT infrastructure and to provide online services for citizens, as outlined in the ambitious NSW Government ICT Strategic Plan (People First). The Plan was launched in July 2006, and while the original estimate of 100 projects has most recently been revised to 60, there is little indication of how many of these projects are moving into implementation, nor of any plans to seek the assistance of ICT suppliers with the projects.

The projects will receive no funding from government, relying instead on savings identified in part by the NSW Executive Council of CIOs, a key group that Mr Rodriguez will need to work closely with. In all the Plan is expected to find savings of $565m over four years.

Mr Rodriguez replaces Paul Edgecumbe, the State’s first GCIO, who departed the role unexpectedly in May 2007.

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