by Byron Connolly

Mills takes reins at QLD govt

Jan 08, 20142 mins
GovernmentHealthcare Industry

Andrew Mills started work as CIO at the Queensland government on Monday, presiding over the government’s new ICT strategy and action plan to improve service delivery across the state.

The former SA government IT head was appointed to the role in November.

“This appointment comes at a critical juncture,” QLD IT minister Ian Walker said in a statement. “We have already unveiled the Open Data portal, launched the One-Stop Shop plan and released the ICT strategy and Action Plan; we need to ensure the momentum keeps going.”

The Queensland government has had a tumultuous few years on the IT front, following the $1.2 billion QLD Health payroll disaster.

Minister Walker said the Newman government is “working hard to ensure Queenslanders never have to face another debacle like the Labor-led failed health payroll system.

“Labor’s waste and mismanagement cost Queensland taxpayers $1.25 billion,” Walker said. “We’ve put measures in place to ensure transparency around the way departments govern and report on their ICT projects and programs of work.”

“This has been accomplished through the creation of an ICT dashboard which is available online for all to see. The dashboard shows information on significant IT projects in government departments, including their progress and cost,” he said.

Meanwhile, the QLD government said on Wednesday that around 1,650 staff at Queensland Health will repay about $2.137 million in loans and overpayments following the introduction of an online payment system in November.

The repayment option – which was part of the government’s efforts to recover millions of dollars in taxpayer funds lost following the health payroll disaster – enables staff to more easily manage their overpayments and loans.

“Overpayments was just one of the many sources of pain following the introduction of Labor’s failed payroll system back in 2010,” said QLD health minister Lawrence Springborg.

“I think the numbers reinforce that many of our staff are keen to move on and put the payroll issues of old behind them. The focus of the LNP Government is on making sure our people are paid the right pay, and are paid on time,” he said.

“Just weeks after coming to government. I lifted the moratorium on repayments imposed by the former Labor Government in an attempt to recover what was then $91 million in overpaid wages, increasing at an average of $1.7 million each fortnight.”

Around two-thirds or 55,598 staff have registered for the electronic payroll service.