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Is Transport for NSW looking for a new CIO?

by Paris Cowan •
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Transport for NSW is remaining tight-lipped about whether or not it is currently advertising to find a replacement for Group Chief Information Officer (CIO) John Thomas.

ZD Net was the first to pick up on a job advertisement seeking applications for the role of Group General Manager ICT (CIO) for the Transport cluster. The successful candidate will be in charge of developing and implementing an ICT Strategy for the whole organisation.

“This is a new position to oversee ICT functions and develop an ICT strategy within Transport for NSW,” a spokesperson for the department told Intermedium.

While the spokesperson said Transport for NSW was not yet in a position to comment on specifics regarding personnel, she did confirm that the formation of the new position did not necessarily mean that Thomas would be removed from his role.

It is possible that the creation of the General Manager role is an extension of the executive spill that took place last year in order to staff six new Deputy Directors-General positions. It is unclear whether Thomas will be invited to apply for the role.

The General Manager of ICT will answer directly to the Executive Director of Human Resources and Business Services, who also has oversight of Transport Shared Services, into which Transport’s ICT functions fall.

John Thomas was appointed CIO in September 2010, making him the first ever technology head to oversee the entire cluster of Transport agencies. Prior to the establishment of his position, Transport technology was dominated by CIOs at each of the major transport bodies, such as the Roads and Traffic Authority (now Roads and Maritime Services or RMS) and RailCorp.

He is currently facing an ICT integration of mammoth proportions as the cluster seeks to integrate the ICT functions of the comprising agencies, many of which have long histories and distinct and independent IT cultures.

The restructure of Transport for NSW became effective in November 2011, and involved the integration of the lead agency into six divisions, one of which will manage the funding performance of the operational agencies like RMS and RailCorp from a single Transport budget.

The interim Schott Report into NSW public service administration, released in February, found that a total of 130 different business and reporting systems were in operation across the Transport cluster.

The size of the job has resulted in the consideration of some un-conventional solutions.

The Group CIO was identified as the driving force behind the pioneering IT ‘as-a-service’ strategy outlined in a recent Request for Information (RFI).

On 2 March 2012 Transport for NSW approached the market for information regarding as-a-service options for messaging, mobility and desktop provisioning across the cluster.

RFI docs said that the CIO was “actively promoting” pay-per-month or pay-per-user alternatives to the traditional in-house model of ICT provisioning, which would deliver economies of scale and added flexibility to the Transport ICT environment.

Such a radical shift in approach to ICT management faces an uncertain future if the Department experiences a change in key ICT personnel.



Related Articles:

NSW appoints first ever whole-of-Transport CIO

Schott Report: NSW needs a new Budget Management System

NSW Transport portfolio to be restructured once again

NSW Shared Services: Transport makes a move

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  • NSW
  • Transport
  • as a service
  • John Thomas
  • Schott Report
  • Shared Services
  • Transport for NSW