Customs restructures IT with CTO



news The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service has advertised for a new chief technology officer to ensure its strategic IT vision is aligned with its business operations; but it’s not immediately clear how the new CTO will fit in with the company’s existing chief information officer position held by Joe Attanasio.

The role, advertised through the Australian Public Service’s jobs site, is a Senior Executive Service (band 2) position and will be based in Canberra. The site describes the position as a newly formed role which “peer reports to the National Director [of] Support”.

“The CTO will have a strong delivery focus and will partner with the business, portfolio agencies, vendors and external stakeholders to ensure the IT vision is strategically aligned to that of the business,” the site states. “Their mandate will be the timely, efficient and effective delivery of enterprise systems and service and performance objectives. They will be accountable for ensuring the information and data integrity of the agency’s enterprise systems and for all associated functions including computer systems, supporting infrastructure, communications networks (voice and data) and the IT service desk. The CTO will work in close co-operation with the National Director Intelligence who is responsible for information management.”

That position which the CTO will report to — National Director of Support at Customs — is also a newly formed role, and has not yet been filled, as it is also currently advertised on the APSJobs site. That position reports to the Deputy CEO of Customs (Maritime, Corporate and Intelligence).

The job ad for the National Director of Support states: “NDS will have responsibilty for plans and polices related to many of the enterprise wide support services necessary for Customs and Border Protection to carry out its border protection role and for delivery of those services. This includes: people management and services (workforce planning, recruitment, performance management, workplace health and safety, mobility and career management and learning and develop), national pay and accounts services, IT services delivery and projects and property and facilities management.”

There is also another related role, National Director of Intelligence. “As Customs and Border Protection faces the challenge of ever increasing volumes of international passengers and goods crossing the border and increasingly sophisticated criminal activity, the NDI will have the key responsibility of integrating and enhancing the agency’s intelligence and information management capability to support our strategic, intelligence-led, risk based approach to border management,” the site states.

“Although not a designated position, the NDI will also perform the role of strategic Information Officer and for the first time will also be responsible for integrating the agency’s existing intelligence and analytics capability with it’s information management capability. In part, resources to support these activities will transition from the current Information Technology Division.”

What’s not immediately clear is how the new positions will change Customs’ existing chief information officer role, held since April 2009 by former ANZ Bank IT executive Joe Attanasio. Attanasio’s LinkedIn profile currently lists him as chief information and knowledge officer at Customs. Delimiter has invited Customs to make a comment about the situation.

It’s not hard to guess what’s going on here. Judging from what information we have, I would bet that there’s an executive restructure going on at Customs that is seeing the group’s IT department move away from the pure play IT function which a CIO represents and towards aligning more with the business.

I don’t have any inside information at this point, but I would not be surprised if Attanasio’s role no longer exists or has been substantially changed, given the description of the new CTO’s role. It seems likely that at least some reporting lines for the CIO role will have changed. We haven’t heard much from Customs IT in a while; I wish I had more context to give readers about this restructure, but unfortunately I don’t yet. If you know what’s going on inside Customs IT, I would be very grateful if you used Delimiter’s anonymous tips line to fill me in.

Image credit: Australian Customs & Border Protection Service


  1. I was working on a rollout for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. The people/company whom I was working hinting hiring skilled support technicians

    Which hinted that border protection got a bigger budget and outsourced provider is hiring more staff

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