Mike Paine was CIO of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority in January 2004 when secondary school students accessed the authority’s website in larger-than-expected numbers while trying to find out their NCEA results.
Despite the negative media attention generated by that event, he’s still in the CIO’s chair at NZQA and, following the results episode, has worked with his 80-strong ICT staff to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
The unexpected surge in traffic that year was itself an effect of his and his team’s success in bringing NZQA into the internet age.
Providing access to results on the net was part of the NZQA’s broader e-strategy, which aims to adopt a web-centric approach to core business operations.
The e-strategy was made more complicated by the fact it was implemented at the same time the NZQA was bringing in the NCEA.
The e-strategy was adopted, in part, to help usher in the NCEA, Paine says.
“[The e-strategy] involved the implementation of new technology architecture, infrastructure, applications, organisational structure and processes.
“These changes were implemented, in part, to support the implementation of NCEA and were the cornerstone of successful operational delivery.”
As well as bringing in the e-strategy, Paine has been part of a cross-education sector ICT group that has overseen the development of an ICT strategic framework for education.
NZQA’s IT efforts got top marks from a review team appointed by the State Services Commission to look into the adequacy of the setting and management of the 2004 scholarship exams, and the wider performance of the NZQA.