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Tax Office temporarily reshuffles IT leadership

by Paris Cowan •
Free resource

Steven Hamilton will be acting as Chief Information Officer at the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), while current CIO Bill Gibson fills the role of Second Commissioner pending a permanent appointment to the position.

A spokesperson for the ATO has confirmed that Second Commissioner in charge of business operations, enterprise solutions and technology, David Butler retired at the end of 2011-12 and “plans to undertake some different consultancy assignments, as well as travel and spend time with family,” she said.

The process to recruit a replacement for Butler commenced in May and applications for the role are now closed. The selected candidate will join the agency for a seven year term. 

The ATO will also be looking to replace Second Commissioner, Law, Jennie Granger who is departing the ATO to join Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the UK as Director-General Enforcement and Compliance.

In a tradition stretching back decades, Second Commissioners have typically had lengthy ATO-based careers. 

Commissioner of Taxation, Michael D’Ascenzo joined the ATO as a graduate in 1977; Second Commissioner Bruce Quigley started in 1972; Second Commissioner Jennie Granger started in 1982; and outgoing Second Commissioner Butler had more than 25 years employment with the Office at the time of his retirement, with short stints working for the OECD and New Zealand Inland Revenue Department the only exceptions. 

Gibson, however, joined the ATO in 2003 after 15 years in IT roles at Qantas.

This is not the first time he has acted at the Second Commissioner level.  He previously spent a year in the position following the departure of Butler’s predecessor Greg Farr, who left in 2008 to become CIO at the Department of Defence.

Farr’s five-year contract at Defence has now expired and will not be renewed. The Defence is currently advertising the role and Farr will finish up in November.

Steven Hamilton is filling the CIO role to cover the period of the Second Commissioner recruitment process. His nominal role is First Assistant Commissioner, Enterprise Applications.

The ATO occupies a Tier 1 position (contracting in excess of $200 million worth of ICT per annum) in the Federal ICT market according to Intermedium’s data. It received the single largest tranche of ICT funding in the 2012-13 Federal Budget, with $447 million over seven years going towards the agency’s contribution to implementing SuperStream reforms. 

Its level of ICT activity makes its CIO and Second Commissioner, EST and Operations two of the most influential ICT executives in Canberra.

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  • Federal
  • Hardware
  • Software
  • IT Services
  • Telecommunications
  • Treasury
  • ATO
  • Bill Gibson
  • Bruce Quigley
  • CIO
  • David Butler
  • Greg Farr
  • Jennie Granger
  • Michael D'Ascenzo
  • Steven Hamilton