Interview: Wadeson opens up on Government IT

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Interview: Wadeson opens up on Government IT
Retiring Government CIO, John Wadeson.
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On AGIMO

In recent years, the Australian Government has attempted to use AGIMO (the Australian Government Information Management Office) to drive more centralised policy and procurement.

For all the AGIMO policies that make sense, it is only natural that some agency CIOs would view these moves as part of a turf war.

But Wadeson declined to buy into the issue, stating that Centrelink and AGIMO got on well.

“We have no choice as to whether we work with them or not,” he said, grinning. “We work with them because that’s how Government tells us to work.

“The fact that Glenn Archer and [Government CIO] Ann Steward used to work for [Centrelink] helps,” he said. “We know them. That helps. “

Wadeson said Centrelink was among the major proponents for a more coherent data centre strategy. AGIMO set up the interim data centre panel because Centrelink could not wait for the final panel to be decided, he said.

“We were the reason that really got them going on that,” Wadeson said. “They did a terrific job on that panel.”

The clock is ticking on data centre consolidation, he said, noting that data centre is the number one issue in his risk analysis.

“Last year around this time – I think it was 12 June – we lost a whole data centre for a whole day over a silly power thing,” he said. “Don’t tell me I don’t have a problem!”

On the cloud

Wadeson has followed with interest discussions on cloud computing in government, but feels it offers little to advance Centrelink – and now Department of Human Services.

“No one is ready to put customer data offshore,” he noted. “Not yet. It won’t happen in my time.

“The trouble is that you split our architecture and then nothing connects,” he said.

“Our staff want it all to work in a whole system that integrates. So there’s not a lot in it, for us.”

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