Queensland has a whole-of-government chief information officer (CIO) again, with the Minister for Information and Communication Technology Simon Finn announcing the appointment of Peter Grant, who began in the role today.
The role came into being last July, after the state's premier Anna Bligh recognised the need for a state CIO, following a PricewaterhouseCoopers review (PwC) commissioned by the state.
Grant will report directly to Finn, but will also provide support and advice to the director-general of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, and will provide regular reports to Cabinet on implementation of the new shared services model and government ICT performance.
Grant has previously held executive roles in the public sector, working for the Department of Public Works, Queensland Health and then Queensland Transport (now Department of Transport and Main Roads). He has also held senior roles at Microsoft and Gartner, and worked as an independent IT consultant for Australia's Human Services; Climate Change and Energy Efficiency; and Employment, Education and Workplace Relations departments.
Finn said that Grant would "provide government with the leadership, management and advice to ensure that whole-of-government ICT investment is maximised", and "provide autonomous, expert advice on the digital economy".
Specifically, this would include National Broadband Network (NBN) master planning, effective working relationships with the ICT industry, and building ICT capacity development across the public sector.
However, certain tasks will remain with the director-general of the Department of Public Works. These include the actual implementation of ICT projects and service delivery, such as overseeing CITEC, Queensland State Archives and Smart Service Queensland.
It's not the first time that Grant has been appointed to the CIO role.
The state created CIO and chief technology officer positions in October 2006, following IT reforms, and appointed Grant to the CIO position shortly after.
While Grant moved on through a variety of positions over the next several years, including being seconded to Queensland Health, and later jumping to the private sector to head up Microsoft's Queensland operations, Alan Chapman became acting CIO. Chapman was later moved to the executive director position when Mal Grierson was made CIO in late 2008.
After the state government split its IT office into three separate units — the Telecommunications, Broadband and the Digital Economy Coordination Office, the ICT Policy and Coordination Office and the Public Sector Development Office — Grierson went on leave, passing the responsibility down to associate director-general of Public Works, Natalie MacDonald.
Finn has every confidence in Grant's ability to take on the role.
"I welcome Peter to the role — he has a challenging but exciting task ahead of him, and I know he will be firmly focused on ICT growth and development in Queensland."