The ICT workload of the Western Australian Department of Transport is set to dramatically increase, as it takes charge of ICT functions previously held by the Department of Planning. Applications have recently closed for a temporary CIO role at the department, which has been created to get the ball rolling on the development of its ICT strategic plan.
Previously, Transport all of its ICT requirements supplied through a shared services arrangement with the Department of Planning, but recently the tables have turned, and the former will now take the reigns over technology for both departments, Intermediumhas been told by Mike Brown, Director of Corporate Support and Strategic IT at the Department.
As a result, the ICT functions with the department will undergo a significant restructure, the personnel requirements for which are still being reviewed by the Public Sector Commission. To avoid falling behind in their strategic ICT needs, Transport were given permission to advertise for the short-term CIO.
“As the role is currently being classified we were given permission to advertise for a four month position,” said Brown.
ICT functions at the department are due to be split between operational and strategic divisions, with the successful CIO candidate to head up the latter. Once the temporary position has expired and the role has been finalised by the WA PSC, the department will readvertise for a permanent candidate.
Brown said that the temporary CIO will be welcome to reapply for the permanent role and added that the new role is unlikely to assume the title of Chief Information Officer, owing to its strategic outlook. Transport will also be looking to find someone to head up their operational ICT functions.
In April 2009, WA Premier Colin Barnett announced the restructure of the Department for Planning and Infrastructure into the Departments of Transport, the Department of Regional Development and Lands and the Department of Planning.
“The Department of Transport will have a focus on strategic transport planning and policy across the range of public and commercial transport systems that service the state... improving collaboration and integration between existing public sector agencies within the transport portfolio will also be an important role of the Department of Transport,” said Premier Barnett.
On 21 April 2010 the Minister for Transport announced an executive shake-up within the Transport Portfolio, with the intention of creating an environment that fosters cross-portfolio working groups, ensuring collaboration and coordination across the portfolio.
As with any new roles, the new executive structure and positions (including the role that will succeed the CIO) must first be approved by higher authorities.
“As a new department we have all new functions and requirements,” said Brown.
According to its 2010-14 Strategic Plan, the Department of Transport’s primary purpose is “to provide safe, accessible, sustainable and efficient transport services and systems, which promote economic prosperity and enhance the lifestyles of all.”
The Department’s largest ICT project to date is the TRELIS Application Deployment (TAD), valued at $40 million. The system enables change of address details received from the Online WA website to be automatically updated in TRELIS, bypassing the previous time-consuming manual process.
Applications for the CIO position closed on 29 March 2011.