by Byron Connolly

WA child services seeks its first CIO

Apr 15, 2013 2 mins
Careers IT Leadership

The Department for Child Protection in Western Australia is on the hunt for its first CIO to create a co-ordinated IT strategy to improve service delivery to around 2200 staff across the state.

The CIO will be tasked with unifying three previously separate, siloed divisions: IS, business systems, and client systems, said Peter Byrne, executive director of community and business services at the Department for Child Protection.

The child protection agency made the decision to go to market for a CIO – with assistance from the Public Sector Commission in WA – following a recent Ernst and Young review of its IT organisation.

Ernst and Young made a series of recommendations around how to improve collaboration, the need to implement stronger IT governance as well as better manage demand for IT services and overall costs, said Byrne.

“One recommendation was the creation of a CIO [role] to better co-ordinate the management of information in the department,” said Byrne, adding that given that nature of the department’s work, information is vital.

“Each [IT] area had its own strategy; our overall information management strategy was not well articulated,” said Byrne.

The CIO will need to develop a new IT strategy in consultation with the rest of the business and not by the “IT guy sitting here telling them ‘this is how things are going to be delivered,’” Byrne said.

The CIO will lead a team of 86 full time IT staff, who manage the information needs of 2200 people employed by the agency across Western Australia, many in regional and remote locations.

According to Byrne, providing its client management system to these staff is a complex task that the agency has done quite well, mainly using thin-client infrastructure. This system holds details about children, their parents and the history of all interactions with the department.

Still, Byrne said the agency’s new CIO would need to review if this is the best way to deliver services while investigating projects such as adopting more mobile technology to reduce travel bills, which “run into the millions of dollars.”

The role is paying an annual salary of between $139,589 and $150,081, plus superannuation and can be found here.