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NSW Finance Department restructures peak ICT role

by Paris Cowan •
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William Murphy’s workload just became a whole lot heavier.

If being in charge of the roll-out of NSW Government’s ICT Strategy (described by Minister Greg Pearce as “a document of some terror”) wasn’t enough, Murphy has had general procurement policy and construction policy added to his list of responsibilities.

Since July 2011, Murphy has been at the head of the Department of Finance and Service’s (DFS) whole-of-government ICT vision as Executive Director, ICT Policy. However in November last year he was required to re-apply for a restructured version of his role which will oversee dual ICT and procurement functions.

In January he was successfully re-appointed to the DFS leadership in the new role of Executive Director, Strategic Policy.

“William is responsible for the policy areas of strategic information and communications technology framework, construction and procurement policy.

“He will effectively retain responsibility for the Department’s ICT strategy and policy functions,” said a spokesperson for the DFS.

Murphy’s colleague Pedro Harris has also received a new job title. He has been permanently appointed to the role of Executive Director, ICT Strategic Delivery, after acting in the position for some time. Harris’ role in Anne Skewes’ Government Services Division will see him assume responsibility for operational ICT matters, such as data centres, the Government Licensing System, and the delivery of a Government Private Cloud.

The move partially mirrors the expansion of John Sherdian’s duties within the recently restructured Federal Department of Finance and Deregulation. Late in 2013 it was announced that Canberra’s peak ICT policy office, the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) within Finance, would be split along functional lines.

As a result, Sheridan was placed in charge of a newly formed Technology and Procurement Division, which will give him the opportunity to apply lessons learned during the roll-out of AGIMO’s suite of whole-of-government ICT procurement panels to other areas of government purchasing. He also assumes the dual titles of Australian Government Chief Technology Officer and Australian Government Procurement Coordinator.

Both restructures are likely a product of the disproportionate amount of time and attention that public sector procurement managers apply to ICT, one of the most complex and historically trouble-prone areas of public sector buying.

Some years ago William Murphy’s own boss, Deputy Director-General Policy and Executive Services at DFS Anthony Lean explained to the AIIA that when he was General Counsel at the then Department of Services Technology and Administration, ICT contract negotiations seemed to take up all of his time. To his surprise, far more valuable categories like public infrastructure and construction accounted for barely ten per cent of his day.

Similarly, ICT occupies a prominent position in the NSW Governments recently released Procurement Reform Strategic Directions Statement. Technology buying will be one of a set of six priority categories to come under a tailored category management approach to their procurement.

Related Articles:

ICT Strategy: What’s in store for NSW over the next 12 months?

Cloud talks underway in NSW

NSW Department of Finance and Services on the look-out for a CIO


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  • NSW
  • Finance & Services
  • Anne Skewes
  • Anthony Lean
  • Greg Pearce
  • John Sheridan
  • NSW ICT Strategy 2012
  • Pedro Harris
  • William Murphy