Chosen few to advise NSW Government IT

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Chosen few to advise NSW Government IT

Government seeks up to five industry members for advisory panel.

The NSW Government has established an ICT Board of departmental director-generals in a bid to improve government decision making and stimulate investment in the state.

The Board is chaired by director-general of the Department of Finance and Services Michael Coutts-Trotter.

Members represent the departments of Premier and Cabinet, Education, Health, Trade and Infrastructure, Transport, and Treasury.

Coutts-Trotter will report to Finance Minister Greg Pearce, who promised to “quickly escalate [issues] to Cabinet as necessary”.

The Board will be supported by an ICT Leadership Group of agency CIOs, and an ICT Advisory Panel of private sector representatives. Leaders of both those groups will attend Board meetings.

The ICT Leadership Group will comprise of a CIO and deputy director-general from each of the state’s nine cluster agencies. Those agencies were: Attorney General and Justice; Education; Family and Community Services; Finance and Services; Health; Premier and Cabinet; Trade and Investment; Transport; and Treasury.

Meanwhile, Pearce told an AIIA meeting today that “four to five” industry representatives would be selected for the Advisory Panel, inviting expressions of interest via email to nswict@services.nsw.gov.au.

NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Treasury and Finance Matthew Mason-Cox said panel members would be chosen by the Minister under advice from his department after a “competitive process”.

As today’s meeting concluded, Mason-Cox was surrounded by industry representatives after inviting input on whole-of-government ICT, improving government services, and "opportunities" like cloud computing.

Pearce said the Board would also be responsible “for setting NSW ICT priorities, monitoring major NSW ICT Government projects and providing high level visibility of agency compliance with agreed objectives and targets”.

Its first task was to develop a NSW Government ICT strategy. Pearce announced the plan at a ‘Strategic ICT Forum’ of 80 industry and government representatives on 17 June.

The strategy was intended to improve government services, facilitate investment in “sustainable efficiency gains”, and improve government, industry and research sector interactions.

“The NSW Government has established a new ICT Governance framework underpinning our commitment to make NSW the leader in ICT,” Pearce told the industry meeting today.

“To achieve this goal, we need clear direction and a strong mandate to take ideas forward.

“Industry also needs to be at the table providing insight into innovative solutions and emerging technologies.”

AIIA CEO Ian Birks welcomed the new framework today, noting that although few industry representatives would be invited to join the advisory panel, “it’s better than not being involved at all, which is what we had in the past”.

Birks hoped the panel would comprise a mix of large, small and medium business, as well as “whole-of-Industry” associations like the AIIA.

He noted that the association had a “regular, ongoing dialogue” with Pearce’s Department of Finance, highlighting its involvement at the Strategic ICT Forum last month.

Representatives of NICTA and other “key ICT industry players” also attended closed discussions at the Forum, the Department said.

At the time, a spokesman for Pearce said the State Government had invited “as many industry stakeholders we could find”.

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