The Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) has appointed Eija Seittenranta as its first permanent Chief Information Officer (CIO), after initially hiring her in October 2012 on a temporary basis.
DPS has confirmed that Seittenranta formally commenced the ongoing position on 3 January 2013.
Prior to her appointment at DPS, Eija Seittenranta was General Manager of ICT infrastructure and Acting CIO at the Department of Human Services from 2011 to 2012, General Manager at Centrelink from 2006 to 2011, and CIO at the Department of Health and Ageing from 2004 to 2006.
At the top of the new CIO’s agenda will be implementing key ICT recommendations of a major report delivered in August 2012. The establishment of a CIO position at DPS was a direct result of the Roche Report on ICT within the Parliament, which highlighted the need for a management role to organise the department’s fragmented ICT environment.
“Establishing an ICT Division in DPS under a senior SES CIO would have significant advantages in terms of more flexible staffing, better professional development and the opportunity to apply contemporary ICT governance techniques across a coherent organisation,” said the report.
Seittenranta herself has listed the implementation of recommendations from the Roche Report as a key priority as she embarks upon the now permanent role.
The newly created position of the CIO will oversee significant changes in the ICT environment at DPS, following key ICT recommendations of the Report. These include:
- The development of a parliament-wide ICT strategic plan, including key business system and ICT infrastructure requirements;
- The establishment of a Parliamentary ICT Advisory Board;
- The establishment of a user group to provide stakeholder input on operational issues; and
- The formation of a ‘one stop shop’ for parliamentarians’ ICT requirements, including equipment, software and networked devices.
Upcoming ICT reforms at DPS may also include a shift towards a shared services approach for Human Resources, Payroll, and Financial Management and Registry corporate systems across DPS and the other parliamentary Departments.
The Roche Report recommended “that the parliamentary departments rationalise the number of copies of corporate systems when the existing licences permit”.
Currently, all three Parliamentary Departments operate separate TRIM registry systems.
DPS runs SAP financial and asset management services, while the Department of the House of Representatives (DHR) and The Department of the Senate (DS) each run their own Finance 1 financial management systems.
In addition, DHR provides Chris21 human resources and payroll services for itself and DPS, and DS provides a Chris21 system to its own staff.
In 2011-12, DPS had a total contract value of $30.6 million, according to Intermedium’s Annual Market Overview Report, placing it in Tier 3 of Intermedium’s tiering system (made up agencies with total contract values between $10 million and $50 million, averaged over three years).
However, DPS took over responsibility for Electorate Office IT from the Department of Finance and Deregulation in September 2011, increasing its responsibilities to include the majority of ICT infrastructure for 128 ministerial electorate offices across Australia. This has the potential to significantly increase DPS’s annual ICT spend.
The Department has recently entered into a three year contract with Telstra to cover Electorate Office Telecommunications, worth $23.3 million and signed through the Internet Based Network Connections panel. Prior to September 2011, Optus was awarded around $18.8 million worth of contracts by Finance for electorate office telecommunications.
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