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West Australia gets its first CIO

Perth skyline dayWestern Australia will appoint its first Government Chief Information Officer as part of a $25 million ICT reform program.

Premier Colin Barnett and Finance Minister Bill Marmion announced the new role would guide Information Communication Technology (ICT) reform across the Western Australian Government, aiming for major savings and efficiencies.

The Office of the Chief Information Officer will be established by July, and sit within the Department of Finance.

Initially the Chief Information Officer’s role will initially focus on cutting ICT costs across government and enhancing transparency in the delivery of major projects.

The CIO is expected to develop an ICT reform plan within 12 months to support the new strategic direction.

“The new office of the Government Chief Information Officer will engage and collaborate with agencies to deliver tangible benefits to West Australians. We are well-positioned to learn from the experience of other States and from overseas, which has shown that the strongest ICT reform comes from having a broad approach right across government”, Mr Marmion said.

A $25 million ICT Renewal and Reform Fund will be established to support agencies with specific ICT reforms and encourage more efficient and effective ICT arrangements.  It will be funded from targeted reductions in agencies ICT expediture, projected to save $85 million, following establishment of the fund.

“With a spend of at least $1 billion a year on ICT, there needs to be better co-ordination, consolidation and prioritisation of these resources across State Government. The delivery of ICT services in Government has not always been as efficient and effective as it might have been. Information Communications Technology reform will drive innovation, improve the way we deliver services to the community and deliver better value for the taxpayer” Barnet said.

Benchmarking of ICT spend compared to other jurisdictions would identify areas of excellence and opportunities to enhance agency decision-making, rationalise investment and remove duplication. ” Mr Marmion said.