As part of Machinery of Government changes, the Queensland Government has put together a new department to focus on IT issues.
The new Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts will be overseen by newly elected LNP Minister Ros Bates, and is an amalgamation of several functions from the old structure of government.
In particular, it will inherit the Centre for Information Technology and Communications (CITEC) and Queensland State Archives from the former Department of Public Works; parts of the former Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, which were responsible for scientific research and development and business innovation; and the Office of the Chief Scientist from the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.
Its responsibilities will also include matters regarding the local digital economy, government information and communication policies and planning and the administration of Crown copyright and intellectual property.
The Department of Public Works has been renamed the Department of Housing and Public Works, and no longer has any functions related to IT. Likewise, the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation has been renamed the Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, and is also no longer related to IT or innovation.
The Queensland Government has yet to set up an official website or email contacts for the new department, but the state's Chief Information Office has reflected the changes on its existing site.
The restructure appears to be the latest step in a better turn of events after the Queensland Government finally filled its long-vacant state CIO position by asking Peter Grant to return to the role. The state's IT planning has been rocky for the past few years, as the CIO role changed hands several times and remained vacant for periods of time, and the state's Chief Information Office was split into three separate units. Relationships with industry workgroups have also soured in part, culminating in the resignation of former Software Queensland board member Bruce Mills.