One of the most senior and respected chief information officers in Australia, Federal Department of Human Services deputy secretary of IT infrastructure John Wadeson has reportedly indicated he plans to retire soon.
Wadeson is best known for his long-term role as chief information officer of Centrelink, which he had held since 2006 after an already lengthy career in the federal public service.
However, over the past several years he has led the IT function of the merged super-department formed from the integration of Centrelink with Medicare Australia, the Child Support Agency and other agencies, following the Labor Federal Government's decision to embark on a significant Service Delivery Reform program in December 2009.
According to a report in the Australian Financial Review this morning, Wadeson signalled his intention to resign at a conference in Sydney this week. Centrelink has not immediately responded to a request for comment on the issue.
However, Centrelink didn't seem to believe his retirement was imminent.
"John Wadeson is of retirement age but is yet to decide when he will leave. Any plans around his replacement will be determined when the time arrives," it said in a statement.
Wadeson will leave a strong team behind him. An extensive senior management team sits under the public servant, with a series of executives such as ICT strategy and corporate services chief Yusuf Mansuri, ICT infrastructure services chief Tuan Dao and ICT integration and consolidation chief Patrick Hadley all reporting to Wadeson as first assistant secretaries, according to DHS's organisational chart published last year.
In addition, all three first assistant secretaries also have extensive teams reporting to them, with DHS in total boasting several thousand direct technology staff, and relationships with a number of large vendors for hardware, software and services support.
If Wadeson goes, he will leave Department of Defence chief information officer Greg Farr as the most visible senior technology bureaucrat in Canberra. Farr and Wadeson have for the past few years shared the limelight as technology thought leaders in the Canberran public service, overseeing giant budgets, mammoth projects and thousands of staff each.