news Queensland’s new whole of government chief information officer Peter Grant has defended the state’s record on major IT projects in his first interview since taking the position in December last year. The interview has been published by iTNews here. In it, Grant says Queensland’s failures — notably, the disastrous payroll systems overhaul at Queensland Health — need to be balanced against its successes, which are often not as well publicised:
“Whenever state health CIOs get together they envy the achievements of Queensland Heath. Many admit they are miles away from getting there.”
Grant previously held Queensland’s whole of government CIO role from 2005 through 2008, after a lengthy career in the technology industry that had included a short stint as the CIO of Queensland Health, three years as a consultant and other periods as a vice president with analyst firm Gartner and time as the Director of IT at Queensland Transport.
Queensland has had a succession of IT disasters over the past few years that have rocked the State Government. The most public of these has been the Queensland Health payroll debacle, which resulted in thousands of public sector health workers going without pay after the department’s upgrade to a new SAP-based payroll system was botched, but many of the state’s other major IT projects have also overrun their budget and been delayed.
The problems culminated in a landmark announcement by Premier Anna Bligh in July that the state would appoint a new CIO role — which Grant filled in December — to report directly to Minister Finn. The new role will also be the first CIO role in Australia to sit at a CEO level in the government hierarchy, effectively making them the equal of the heads of major government departments.
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