Jayasinha leaves DOC for CTO job

After six years as CIO at the Department of Conservation, Channa Jayasinha is moving on to become chief technology officer at the Ministry of Economic Development.

After six years as CIO at the Department of Conservation, Channa Jayasinha (pictured) is moving on to become chief technology officer at the Ministry of Economic Development.

Jayasinha, who before DOC was IT manager at Te Papa, set about working on conservation agency's IT management policy and producing an information services strategic plan.

"My appointment in 1998 was to improve the IT and information management capability of the department, following a major restructure in 1997."

Projects that came out of the plan included extending the DOC network to 145 locations nationwide and deploying standard desktop applications.

Getting the right infrastructure and standardising laid the foundations for new applications and functions introduced during Jayasinha's tenure.

Among those was improving GIS capabilities, "because DOC controls a third of New Zealand's land area".

A .Net-based lahar (mud flow) monitoring system on Mt Ruapehu, an online hut and camp ground booking system, a move from Oracle financials to SAP's All-In-One package were among the moves made in Jayasinha's time. His successor, once chosen, will start the job with the go-live of the SAP system and inherit a project to upgrade the department's human resources and payroll system.

"At present it's payroll with some basic HR, but we're moving to a more self-service type option on the intranet."

DOC's intranet is a key part of such a widely scattered organisation, he says.

"There are 2000 staff across 145 locations and the intranet is a major tool for connection."

His successor will also oversee the implementation of a major asset management system, for which tenders closed recently.

Looking into the future, software development for the national booking system, contact centres, virtual visitor centres and e-citizen initiatives are projects the new CIO and the department's 55 IT staff may work on, Jayasinha says.

"The CIO has three roles -- managing the infrastructure, software development and knowledge management."

He says the decision to move to MED came about "because I was looking for a change and the MED has some interesting initiatives, especially around e-government".

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