The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) has disestablished the CIO role. David Spaziani is leaving first week of March following changes in the ICT infrastructure, which will be now under Stephen Crombie, general manager, government technology services.
Spaziani became CIO at the DIA in 2006, coming from a programme manager role at the Ministry of Economic Development (MED).
“The changes at DIA are profound and, along with similar changes at IRD and MED, indicate a significant shift in the New Zealand government's approach to the role of the CIO and ICT governance,” says Peter Macaulay, principal, end user practice, IDC New Zealand.
“The role of the CIO is changing and becoming more expansive,” he says and cites current IDC Research showing a rise in the number of CIOs now reporting to the chief operating officer.
Macaulay says the changes do not necessarily mean a weakening of the CIO role.
“I don’t think it is any dilution of the CIO, it is a shift in the emphasis of it,” says Macaulay. “The CIO [role] disappears, but in reality the role expands and comes under the COO,” says Macaulay, with much of the decision making regarding ICT going into the business units.
The list of government agencies that have disestablished or downsized their CIO roles, or made significant changes to the ICT department in the past year is noticeable.
Among the shifts in public sector ICT noted by Macaulay and reported at CIO include the disestablishment of the CIO role at the Inland Revenue Department. Two IT divisions are created, one focusing on day to day business and the other on future IT requirements and strategy. As reported in CIO’s sister publication Computerworld , the manager of the two new groups will report to Tim Occleshaw, deputy commissioner information, design and systems. Before moving to IRD, Occleshaw was CIO of the Ministry of Social Development.
At the Ministry of Health Alan Hesketh has resigned, with a new structure being developed for the agency. The former CTO of the Ministry of Economic Development, Channa Jayasinha, is now CIO of the Ministry of Fisheries after his role as CTO was downsized.
Last year, the State Services Commission disestablished the CIO role and the new ICT manager is two levels lower. Warwick Wright, the former State Services Commission CIO, is now manager, information systems services, at the Aviation Security Service.