Human Services finally finds its new CIO

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Human Services finally finds its new CIO
Michael McNamara

ANZ executive signs onto welfare agency.

The federal Department of Human Services (DHS) has finally found a permanent chief information officer, appointing ANZ architecture executive Michael McNamara to the role.

McNamara is set to begin the new role in January 2019.

Charles McHardie will continue to act as interim CIO at DHS  pending McNamara's start in the new year.

The massive department, which is in the midst of $1 billion root-and-branch technology overhaul known as WPIT (welfare payments infrastructure transformation), lost its previous CIO Gary Sterrenberg back in January of this year.

The WPIT project is regarded as one of the most sensitive and high-risk technology projects in Australia because of its scale, technical complexity and visceral community and political sensitivity.

The systemic pressure on achieving smooth, effective and lasting payments reform within the agency - which is largely technology based - is so acute that its leadership commands its own deputy secretary in the form of John Murphy.

The splitting of responsibilities to de-risk the giant endeavour has paid off. The project rolls on despite Sterrenberg’s departure after six years at the helm of DHS IT and a longer than expected recruitment period for one of the top technology leadership positions in government.

McNamara comes into the CIO role at DHS with a number of high-profile IT executive roles under his belt.

He has been with ANZ for more than six years, currently serving as the bank's general manager of architecture, delivery services and business management.

He also previously led ANZ’s $200 million workplace experience transformation, which included an enterprise-wide rollout of a virtual desktop.

McNamara’s prior experience also includes CIO of Colonial and head of delivery at CBA.

More to come

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