More power likely for NZ Government CIO

Parliament's Finance and Expediture Committee supports extending the Government CIO's oversight from core public service department to cover other large Crown entities.

A powerful New Zealand Parliamentary committee is backing moves to give the Government Chief Information Officer broader power over government ICT investment and strategy.

The change is expected to help the GCIO achieve his goal of saving NZ$100 million a year on the cost of state sector ICT by 2017.

The Finance and Expenditure Committee has examined government directions on leadership in procurement, ICT, and property and recommended that the Parliament take note of its report, supporting new directions.

If approved, these would extend the ICT approaches the GCIO mandates for government departments to most other Crown entities. 

The Government Chief Information Officer leads government ICT programmes with the aim of providing system-wide assurance and integrated digital services throughout the state sector, the committee said.

However, at present his ICT Action Strategy and Plan apply only to government departments. The direction would extend them to include district health boards (DHBs) and several other Crown agents with substantial ICT investment.

These would include the Accident Compensation Corporation, the Earthquake Commission, Housing New Zealand Corporation, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the New Zealand Transport Agency, and the Tertiary Education Commission.

"The direction is expected to make government ICT more efficient and effective by enabling commonality, coherence, and cost savings, and by allowing the Government Chief Information Officer to provide wider leadership, and guidance on managing risks associated with ICT plans and investment," the committee said in its report.

"It would also help in discharging the officer’s mandate to make sustainable savings of NZ$100 million a year on the state sector’s ICT transactions by 2017."