Govt plans keep RailCorp CIO post empty

Summary:The New South Wales State Government has revealed why, almost two years after its last chief information officer was stood down, public transport agency RailCorp is still without a lead IT executive.

The New South Wales State Government has revealed why, almost two years after its last chief information officer was stood down, public transport agency RailCorp is still without a lead IT executive.

Empty desk

The CIO chair at RailCorp is still empty after almost two years. (Empty desk image by Stephen Edmonds, CC BY-SA 2.0)

RailCorp and the office of the minister for transport have revealed to ZDNet Australia that the new Coalition Government's plans for an integrated transport authority continue to push back the appointment of a RailCorp CIO.

"[CIO] recruitment will be considered in light of the establishment of a new integrated transport authority," RailCorp told ZDNet Australia.

The integrated transport authority will provide a central hub for the NSW public transport services and enable agencies like RailCorp, the State Transit Authority and Sydney Ferries to focus on "front-line service delivery", according to the O'Farrell Government's election manifesto.

The integrated transport authority will lay down planning and policy initiatives, leaving public transport agencies to focus on "clean, reliable, safe and efficient transport services". The new authority has also promised to provide better cross-agency communication as well as faster access to service and ticketing information.

RailCorp's CIO trouble began after agency veteran Viki Coleman was stood aside amid allegations of corruption and "dishonest behaviour", which was referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in June 2009.

Coleman resigned in October 2009, with the role of acting group general manager for IT temporarily filled by Gary Pedersen, who is the group general manager for finance and corporate services.

Since that time, the organisation has encountered technical difficulties and outage events, including a major switch outage that delayed some services by almost three hours, unexplained EFTPOS outages and a damning report from NSW auditor-general Peter Achterstraat who found that IT project costs had blown-out by $41.4 million.

Topics: CXO, Government, Government : AU

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A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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