The office of Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner has confirmed that the Federal Government has engaged former e-health executive and chief information officer Ian Reinecke to conduct a review of progress on implementing recommendations from Sir Peter Gershon's wide-ranging report on government technology use.
As first reported by the Australian Financial Review, Reinecke began work in March this year, and will report to government on his findings by mid-2010.
Reinecke has a strong history in public sector technology circles; he was the independent advisor to the NSW Government's recent "Better Services and Value Taskforce" reviewing the state government's use of ICT from September 2009, and was the founding CEO of the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) from 2004 through 2008.
He has also been the chief information officer of the Sydney Olympics and a pro vice-chancellor at the University of Queensland.
The Gershon report was a landmark review into federal government technology use by British efficiency expert Sir Peter Gershon. Since its public release in October 2008, federal departments and agencies have been enmeshed in a process of improving the way they use technology, as steered by the Australian Government Information Management Office.
"In his report, Sir Peter recommended that '...an independent review of progress be undertaken in the first quarter of 2010,' said Tanner's office in a statement issued late last week. "Following advice from the Secretaries' ICT Governance Board (SIGB), Minister Tanner has appointed Dr Ian Reinecke to conduct the review recommended by Sir Peter."
Reinecke's review will examine the progress of the Gershon recommendations, as well as advising on the effectiveness of implementation of the seven key areas the British expert outlined, as well as any corrective action required.
"The review will also examine and make recommendations on the future role of the Australian Government Information Management Office as a result of the ICT Reform Program," Tanner's statement said.
Reinecke was appointed to the role on the recommendation from the Secretaries' ICT Governance Board — which comprises representatives at the secretary or CEO role of federal departments including the Department of Human Services, Prime Minister and Cabinet, Customs and more.
"The reviewer will seek input from government agencies, industry and other key stakeholders. The minister for Finance and Deregulation has not prescribed which agencies Dr Reinecke should include in his consultations so that the review is truly independent," Tanner's statement said.
Reinecke's career has not been free from controversy.
In October 2007 a Boston Consulting Group review of NEHTA found it was broadly meeting its goals under his stewardship, but pilloried its abysmal communication skills, saying its engagement with the majority of stakeholders "has been ineffective and has created a cycle of criticism, defensiveness and isolation".
Reinecke resigned from the group in April 2008. Since that time the executive has been involved in a number of other government-related technology initiatives — such as the Government 2.0 Taskforce in 2009. In addition, it was revealed in mid-2009 that Reinecke had provided consulting services to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's department, picking up $70,000 for a week's worth of services in late February 2009.