Victoria’s Department of Human Services has taken the unconventional step of appointing an analyst, Ovum’s public sector lead Steve Hodgkinson, as its new chief information officer.
A spokesman for the department confirmed the hire, and said Hodgkinson offered "significant expertise and skills" in providing the agency with "strategic advice and guidance" on IT across both the public and private sectors.
“He has worked for the UK-based research and advisory firm Ovum for the past eight years and is currently the chief analyst for public sector IT globally. He is well placed to lead high level IT strategies and directions for the department,” the spokesperson said.
Hodgkinson is not a completely new face to Victoria government IT circles, having served as deputy whole-of-government CIO under Jane Treadwell between 2002 and 2006.
He fills a vacancy created by former CIO Grahame Coles, who left to take up a whole-of-government IT strategy role within the chief technology advocate’s branch of the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation.
As the new CIO, Hodgkinson will face a period of renewed IT activity at DHS, which has received new funding to enable its response to a number of high profile child safety shortcomings and adverse investigation findings.
In the latest Victorian budget, the department received $14 million to build a single client view of its customer data.
Prior to that, the agency was given $8 million for an outcomes tracking system designed to pre-empt crises in a child's care, and an automated incident management system to replace its current fax-based reporting processes.
Hodgkinson will work his first day on 8 December 2014.