Updated: Dept of Internal Affairs to split info, knowledge functions

DIA says CIO position will remain; applications for two deputy chief executive positions close tomorrow

Update - Thursday October 4

The position of deputy CEO Knowledge Information Research and Technology at the Department of Internal Affairs is being disestablished to make way for two new deputy CEO positions.

DIA disputes the suggestion that the move partially reverses the absorption of National Library and Archives into the department. “The combination of skills, capability and passions that sit within National Library, Archives New Zealand and Government Information Services provide significant opportunities,” says spokesperson Jo Watt. “The strong relationships across all of the groups will continue. Collaboration across business groups is essential in any organisation.”

The change of title for the office of the government CIO does not imply any change to the status of the government CIO position itself, says Watt, “This very important function remains.”

The restructuring decision was an internal one, driven by DIA chief executive and government CIO Colin MacDonald. “The chief executive took a proposal to staff and made a final decision after considering all the feedback,” Watt says.

The timescale between advertising the positions and deadline for application - on working week - is not unusually short for DIA, Watt says.

Original story - Tuesday October 2

Having made an effort to integrate government ICT and “knowledge” strategies under one roof, the Department of Internal Affairs is now re-dividing them to some extent.

The department is advertising for two deputy chief executives, one to take charge of “knowledge services” and the other “service and system transformation”.

Knowledge services encompasses the National Library and Archives New Zealand along with Government Information Services, which provides internal ICT for DIA, web information services for government, advice on government information standards and authentication of identity documents.

The absorption of the National Library and Archives into DIA was mooted in 2008 and put into practice in 2010.

The other side, service and system transformation, will handle all-of-government ICT strategy and implementation including Government Technology Services and the Government ICT Supply Management Office (Gismo) and the functions of the office of the Government CIO, now retitled Government ICT Strategy and Planning.

The motives for the rejig, according to the advertisement for the two deputy chief executives, is the DIA’s responsibility of being the “functional leader” for ICT across government, “with the increasing expectation that ICT will be centrally led and collaboratively delivered” – a mantra used by Sam Knowles, chair of government’s ICT Council, in his presentation to the Institute of IT Professionals last month.

The Service and Systems Transformation branch takes on a further responsibility for “Result Area 10” of the government’s plan for better public services, drawn up earlier this year.

The aim of Result Area 10 is that “New Zealanders can complete their transactions with government easily in a digital environment”.

The new deputy CEO roles were first advertised on September 26, but candidates have been given only until October 5 to apply.

Computerworld has put a series of questions to DIA on the effects of the reshuffle and will update this story as information comes to hand.

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