ACT appoints whole-of-govt digital chief

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ACT appoints whole-of-govt digital chief

New Zealand CIO to take over digital Canberra push.

The ACT government has lured a New Zealand public sector CIO across the Tasman to become its inaugural whole-of-government chief digital officer. 

The territory recently appointed Jon Cumming, the former head of IT for NZ's Department of Corrections, into the newly-created position.

Cumming pushed cloud computing and mobile-first programs at the NZ agency. Prior to that, he enjoyed a long career with NZ telco Spark (formerly Telecom New Zealand) and outsourcer EDS, now owned by HP.

The kiwi will take leadership of the ACT's 'digital Canberra' strategy, which to date has focused on rolling out free public wi-fi, improving the territory’s online service delivery, launching business-pitching forums for digital start-ups and a program of funded STEM internships for uni students.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to bring my experience to Canberra, to help shape and deliver on the key priorities of the ACT digital strategy,” Cumming said in a statement.

“My role as CDO is to facilitate the community’s digital knowledge, to take them on a journey and change mindsets about the infinite possibilities, wonderment and experiences that a truly connected city and world offers.”

He said he was looking forward to collaborating with IT and digital leaders in the other jurisdictions, particularly Canberra’s other recent import, federal Digital Transformation Office CEO Paul Shetler.

Cumming will work his first day for the territory government on 17 August, answering directly to the director general of the Chief Minister’s department, Kathy Leigh.

The ACT is the first Australian government to appoint a CDO with cross-agency responsibility.

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