Sam Knowles to chair govt's ICT Council

Council members primarily drawn from public sector

Members have been chosen for the Government ICT Council signalled last year by Government Technology Services head Stephen Crombie.

The council will be one layer in a three-tier structure to establish tighter overall governance of ICT in government

The council consists mostly of CIOs from core public service agencies plus the NZ Transport Agency, and Graham Osborne, director of the National Health IT Board.

Contrary to Computerworld’s November article signalling the formation of the council it includes no private-sector members, apart from Sam Knowles, who has been appointed independent chairman. Knowles headed Kiwibank for 10 years and last year became a director of Xero; he is also on the board of Trustpower and chairs business-directory startup Localist.

“Mr Knowles has a rich history of innovation through embracing ICT and he will make an excellent addition to the Government ICT Council,” says David Smol, head of government’s ICT Strategy Group, which set up the council. Smol is chief executive of the Ministry of Economic Development.

The council and the other governance layers will help put in place the “Directions and Priorities for Government ICT”, adopted by Cabinet last year.

This strategy aims to coordinate management of and investment in ICT across state services in order to achieve greater value for money and a higher quality experience for citizens using government services. Its outline can be read at

In addition to Knowles, members of the ICT Council are:

Craig Soutar, CIO, New Zealand Transport Agency;

David Habershon, CIO, Ministry of Social Development;

Gerard Aberdeen, general manager ICT services, Ministry of Justice;

Graeme Osborne, director, National Health IT Board;

Greg Patchell, deputy secretary, Ministry of Economic Development;

Leanne Gibson, CIO, Ministry of Education;

Myles Ward, group manager IT operations and services, Inland Revenue;

Nigel Prince, deputy director-general of business services at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

The other layers of the ICT governance structure are the ICT Strategy Group and a Ministerial Committee on ICT, comprising five ministers.

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Tags stephen crombiesam knowlesICT Council

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