Qld appoints tech chief

Qld appoints tech chief

Summary: update Queensland has appointed an interim chief technology officer and confirmed the appointment of a temporary chief information officer as part of sweeping changes to the way the state's internal IT systems are governed. The new CTO, Bob Gurnett, is the former general manager of Business and Technical Strategies for the government's state-owned ICT services group Citec, while the new CIO is Peter Grant, formerly assistant director-general for the state's Office of Government ICT.

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update Queensland has appointed an interim chief technology officer and confirmed the appointment of a temporary chief information officer as part of sweeping changes to the way the state's internal IT systems are governed.

The new CTO, Bob Gurnett, is the former general manager of Business and Technical Strategies for the government's state-owned ICT services group Citec, while the new CIO is Peter Grant, formerly assistant director-general for the state's Office of Government ICT.

The appointments come after a review of government ICT in October recommended widespread reforms expected to save AU$135 million a year.

A spokesperson for the Department of Public Works (in which Citec sits) was coy on whether Queensland was conducting an executive search process for a permanent CTO and CIO, saying only all appropriate action would be taken to ensure the most suitable officers were appointed. However the jobs are expected to be finalised in early 2007.

While the pair have new titles and have started implementing recommendations of the review, there are some indications their actual job functions may not have changed much.

Gurnett will continue to work within Citec, and his existing job description on the group's Web site says he is responsible for areas such as development of product plans and client proposals, ICT governance and design of key technology deliverables.

The Public Works spokesperson admitted CIO Grant's new office "still has responsibility for all but a few of the functions that it performed at a whole of government level" before the review was published in October.

For example, it will still handle telecommunications, whole of government ICT strategy and research, architecture and standards, industry liaison, a Microsoft innovation fund and represent ICT on agency boards and committees.

Some additional responsibilities include developing a whole of government information management strategy, leading portfolio analysis of plans and proposed investments, improving the success rate of projects, and further developing the government's enterprise architecture.

Meanwhile, the Queensland government is seeking expressions of interest for a high-speed broadband network across Brisbane. In a statement, the state's Premier Peter Beattie said his government had already received responses from a number of parties interested in the proposed network, dubbed "Project Vista", which was first flagged in October.

Queensland's move follows two key announcements yesterday -- NSW Premier Morris Iemma said central business districts in key cities will get free Wi-Fi broadband within the next three years, while Western Australia will pool its annual AU$100 million telecommunications spend into a billion dollar contract to build a state-wide broadband network.

Topics: CXO, Government, Government AU

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