Qld Health CIO reportedly poached by IBM


blog Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. If you’ve been reading Delimiter over the past several years, you will have realised that the Queensland Government, and in particular Queensland Health, does not have a spectacular relationship with global IT services outfit IBM.

IBM, after all, was the lead contractor on Queensland Health’s payroll systems replacement project, which ended up a billion-dollar disaster, in the halls of an official Commission of Inquiry, and ultimately in court, where the Queensland Government recently spectacularly lost a lawsuit against IBM over the project and still bans IBM from winning new deals with the Queensland Government.

All this is what makes today’s news so unusual. iTnews is reporting this afternoon, with comment from several of the parties involved, that Queensland Health CIO Colin McCririck (pictured, below) has resigned for a job with IBM in the US. The site reports (we recommend you click here for the full article):

“Queensland Health’s CIO and chief of its e-health arm Colin McCririck has resigned to join IBM in the United States.”

In some ways, this news is not a huge deal. McCririck has only been in the role since December last year; after another year as Queensland Health’s CTO. And he has a long history within Suncorp’s IT management team. It’s possible that one of the drivers for the jump to the US was a link with former Suncorp CIO Jeff Smith, who also took a role with IBM in the US recently.

And McCririck was not involved in the payroll bungle.


However, there is also no doubt that many will see this leap as a bad look for the government in general. After all, the state was not able to retain for more than a couple of years a top-flight, experienced IT executive such as McCririck, who had come from the private sector to help out Queensland Health with its (myriad) problems.

My suspicion is that Queensland Health’s IT department is something akin to a basket of snakes at this point, and that its IT systems are a complete mess. One hopes that Queensland Health does a better job of retaining its new CIO. They need a good one.

Image credit (headshot): Colin McCririck


  1. This is the third time this week I have seen people use the Queensland Heath Payroll to provide some sort of context for a story about IT in QLD or a story about IBM. This is poor journalism at best and just bloody hopeless at worst. Just to few edifying facts might assist here.

    (1) QLD Health (and QLD Health IT) was the customer of the Health Payroll. The initiative was run by Queensland Shared Services and this group reported to QLD Treasury – not Health. Blaming Health is like blaming someone for buying a car that turns out to be a lemon.

    (2) The IT infrastructure underpinning the QLD Health payroll worked from day one! No one ever got credit for that. The idiot Newman government actually sacked people from this area because of the Health Payroll failure. A key reason for this inappropriate response from the Newman government I believe was the number of completely ill-informed media articles about the Payroll initiative. Stupid politicians just reacted in line with them.

    (3) There is absolutely no evidence (except from Political slurs from Newman government ministers) the cost of the Health Payroll is anywhere near $1.2 billion. One day a real journalist might look into how that number was created. It will be a very good story. But maybe I live in hope, it will probably never happen because it will involve someone actually doing some WORK!

    (4) The QLD Health payroll has been paying people in Health for years now – it’s working! Yes the implementation was hopeless. But it’s a working system. Not perfect but working. There will be hundreds (maybe thousands) of systems like this across the country. Not great, not perfect but working. So now the only ongoing criticism is the cost ($1.2B) – but is that cost correct – see above.

    (5) The QLD government implement 1,100 ICT projects every year. EVERY YEAR !!!! I find it very frustrating journalists need to go back SEVEN years to find a failure they can talk about and then they use this to smear all the good work IT people in QLD do every day. Where is the credit for the good projects??? And I might add IBM contribute to a number of these successful initiatives – even today.

    As for Colin. He was falsely accused of a misdemeanour. He was stood down and his future would have been unclear. So while he was off work he found another job. Can you blame him for that? Who wouldn’t? And when it comes to who he found the job with – well when you are a top flight IT person the field is pretty small unless you want to work for a statup.

    So i’m still waiting for a WELL RESEARCH article on QLD Government IT that is recent, relevant and evenhanded. Many journos probably believe something positive won’t sell. I’d suggest there are 1,000’s of IT people who would love someone to give them some well earned credit – not just in QLD but across Australia.

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