A new unit with responsibility for internal customer engagement has been formed within Victoria Police’s IT Shared Services division as part of a wider restructure of the IT function, according to the Executive Director Infrastructure and IT, Michael Vanderheide.
The Strategic Business Engagement unit will be made up of 30 employees sourced from the restructure of other IT branches, and will have a budget of $4 million.
According to Vanderheide, the restructure has been designed to improve relations between the Business Information Technology Services (BITS) division, and the Victoria Police staff who rely on technology to do their job. The group “will be comprised of staff responsible for customer engagement, supported by resources with expertise in process design, process improvement and in change management”, he said.
“The group will have responsibity for ensuring close and effective engagement between BITS, as the Victoria Police IT service provider, and the diverse business functions across the organisation that BITS supports,” he added.
Applications for the new position of Director of Strategic Business Engagement closed on June 14. Victoria Police is looking for a candidate with a background in senior management and customer engagement, and an in-depth understanding of what is required to change business processes on a large scale.
The establishment of the new group comes after the establishment last year of a function focussed on ICT related procurement which reports through to Victoria Police’s Chief Financial Officer.
The procurement reporting function was implemented to prevent a repeat of the inadequate procurement practices identified by the Victorian Ombudsman’s investigation into the tendering and contracting of IT Services at Victoria Police.
The Ombudsman’s report was tabled in the Victorian Parliament in November last year and identified “an apparent disregard for proper procurement and contract management processes” within BITS, which had resulted in a $39 million shortfall between actual funding and the value of contracts entered into.
The report also found that BITS management had breached procurement guidelines and accepted gifts from vendors, including tickets to the Australian Open tennis competition and other major sporting events.
Mr Vanderheide moved into the Executive IT position following the departure of former CIO Valda Berzins, who resigned when the procurement issues came to light in late 2008.