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Wanted: Top tech gun for access card project

The federal government has detailed the job specifications and experience required of the individual who will take on the senior technology role in implementing the new AU$1.1 billion health and welfare access card.

The federal government has detailed the job specifications and experience required of the individual who will take on the senior technology role in implementing the new AU$1.1 billion health and welfare access card.

The government this week advertised on its e-tendering Web site the position of chief technology architect at the newly-created Office of Access Card, saying the appointee would provide the Department of Human Services with "specialist advice on all technology aspects of the Access Card program".

The appointee would be expected to facilitate implementation of the card by ensuring the project's technology architecture and specifications supported a system that was "scalable, robust and meets business requirements".

The card -- announced by the Prime Minister, John Howard on 26 April -- is is slated to replace 17 health and social services cards and vouchers, including the Medicare card when it is introduced from 2008.

One of several new positions created by the Minister for Human Services, Joe Hockey, to help implement the card, the technology architect would have prior experience building systems of "national and international significance," with experience in large technology-based commercial transactions and previous experience in smart card implementation "highly desirable".

The initial contract term is expected run for two years from August, with two extension options of one year each.

The government also said the successful applicant would have strong understanding of any three technology disciplines of biometric technologies, legacy systems integration, smartcard infrastructure, database design, registration systems and service-oriented systems.

The architect is expected to liaise with the Department of Human Services Office, the access card deputy secretary, the lead adviser, the monitoring and assurance adviser, and the access card consumer and privacy taskforce.