Centrelink IT reformer recognised in Queen's Birthday honours

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Centrelink IT reformer recognised in Queen's Birthday honours
Source: Governor-General

Awarded PSM for welfare payments infrastructure.

One of the countless public servants working to reform the Centrelink payments system has been recognised for his “outstanding” service in the Queen's Birthday 2020 Honours List.

Alan Davidson, a project director within Services Australia, was honoured for “innovative program digitisation and development for welfare payment infrastructure” on Monday.

His Public Service Medal (PSM) relates to his work overseeing a large data exchange project within the business transformation division of the welfare payments infrastructure transformation (WPIT) program.

WPIT is replacing the legacy Model 204-based income security integrated system that is still used to process more than $180 billion worth of payments every year, more than 30 years on.

The billion dollar-plus IT overhaul is currently focused on building out a new payments entitlements calculation engine, despite having suffered a shakeup in the senior ranks.

But Davidson’s public service dedication dates back well to before WPIT began in 2015; he has spent more than 18 years in total at Services Australia and its various predecessors.  

This includes 10 years as a customer service officer - experience that senior executives are increasingly looking to embed in their teams to solve fundamental user experience issues.

In a LinkedIn post, Davidson said he was grateful to have been recognised, acknowledging those who have supported him.

“So many words jump to mind to describe how I feel right now. Words like humbled, privileged, honoured,” he said.

“Above all though, grateful is probably the best word to describe how I feel about receiving a Public Service Medal in this years Queens Birthday Honours.”

“Whilst my name is on this list, the award really belongs to so many great people who have supported me on this journey.”

He acknowledged his colleagues across Services Australia, the Digital Transformation Agency and the Australian Taxation Office.

“I am grateful to my amazing team both past and present, who have worked so hard alongside me. Their resilience and ability to rise to a challenge is a credit to them,” he said.

“I am also grateful for my leaders for putting their trust in my judgement, and the authority to push beyond the status quo.”

Davidson was one of dozens of public servants to be recognised for their service on Monday, with the majority hailing from the NSW and Commonwealth public service.

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