WA's govt CIO departs amidst ongoing uncertainty

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WA's govt CIO departs amidst ongoing uncertainty

Nunis heads for Deloitte.

Western Australia’s first government chief information officer Giles Nunis will depart the top job after three years at the helm of the state’s digital transformation efforts.

Nunis, who was charged with improving the state's IT posture by the former Barnett government in September 2015, will leave the public sector in March for Deloitte. 

He will become a partner at the consultancy's technology, strategy and architecture team in Perth, as first reported by Business News WA.

A spokesperson for the Office of the CIO confirmed Nunis' departure, but directed questions to IT minister Dave Kelly’s office. 

Kelly told iTnews that Nunis resigned last week after accepting the partnership with Deloitte. OGCIO's Executive Director of ICT Policy and Governance Marion Burchell will take up the whole-of-government role in the interim.

He said the McGowan government remained committed to digital transformation and is "currently considering how to best implement the report's recommendations".

Nunis was previously deputy director-general of the then-Department of State Development - which has now merged with the Department of Commerce to become the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation - and before that was managing director of Ajilon.

One of his first tasks as CIO was overhauling the way WA buys and manages IT through the GovNext program, which will see the majority of agencies move to either private or public cloud.

He also oversaw the development of the state’s first whole-of-government IT strategy, which was aimed at generating efficiencies and cost savings by as much as $110 million over four years.

His departure follows a December review of the WA public sector that called for the functions of the CIO office to be divvied up and moved within the state’s central agencies.

It recommended that IT policy functions be transferred to “a discrete office” within the Department of Premier and Cabinet, while ICT procurement was handed to the Department of Finance.

The review also pointed to a continued “lack of cross-government ICT leadership”, largely due to the OGCIO's “limited” role and mandate, with ICT priorities taking a back seat to competing “expenditure decisions at agency level”.

Concerns were also raised about the 'digital WA' strategy’s “lack of clarity in and cohesiveness between the strategic goals it proposes, and minimal accountability for their delivery across the sector”.

The OGCIO had been slated to run out of money and cease operation at the end of June, but was given a $7.4 million lifeline in the December budget update [pdf] for 2018-19, pending the government's response to the review.

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