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All-of-government ICT operations to move to DIA

All-of-government ICT operations to move to DIA

13 March 2008

The State Service's Commission's Information and Communication Technologies Branch (ICT) will be split in two and the all-of-government operations moved to the Department of Internal Affairs, State Services Commissioner Mark Prebble said today.

"The success of the ICT branch, which started as the E-government Unit, has seen it grow steadily over the last eight and half years. From a dedicated policy focus, the branch has developed and now manages all-of-government 24x7 services like the Government Shared Network, Government Logon Service, Secure Electronic Environment (SEE) Mail, and newzealand.govt.nz.

"The split is to ensure that we adapt to our success. SSC can focus more on its core performance management responsibilities and the two ICT workstreams, policy leadership and service delivery, can both continue to deliver innovative approaches and products for New Zealand's State Services.

The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) was chosen as the preferred location for the service delivery function as it has a strong match with the strategic fit and stakeholder needs criteria, including the existing relationship with the SSC in working on the Authentication Programme. DIA also has proven experience and systems to provide client focussed services e.g. invoicing, call centres, and making payments.

"The timing of the move will be agreed with the chief executive of the Department of Internal Affairs to ensure that the service delivery function is ready to move and that DIA are ready to host it.

"Cabinet has also decided that the leadership function, which remains within SSC, should include the new designation of the 'New Zealand Government CIO'. This reflects the importance of the role providing strategic leadership, input into agency ICT investment decisions, fostering innovation and promoting collaboration across New Zealand's State Services. Laurence Millar, Deputy Commissioner, will assume this additional role as part of the change," Mark Prebble said.

The implementation date for the first stage of the split, the reorganisation of the ICT Branch, is 1 July 2008. A statement about the timing of the move to DIA will be made later in the year.

Background

In December 2005, Cabinet agreed that the SSC should manage provision of government-wide ICT shared services, and that the mandate for such activity should be clarified by a direction from the Prime Minister under ss 6(j) and 11(1) of the State Sector Act 1988.

At that time it was recognised that the proposed governance arrangements for providing government-wide shared services may not be appropriate when the more significant activities, including the Government Shared Network, are fully rolled out, and that this point is now being reached.

In December 2006, following reviews of capital asset management practices in departments and of government ICT spending, Cabinet directed the SSC to adopt a central leadership role that enables agencies to achieve performance gains from ICT investments, including targeting, delivery and assessment of productivity gains, consistent with the Capital Asset Management framework.

Late last year, SSC undertook a review to determine the best structure, form and governance of the operations function, to enable the effective establishment and uptake of all-of-government ICT, and the effective delivery of SSC's core business.

SSC concluded that the objectives could best be achieved through a two-step approach. First, the reorganisation of the ICT Branch to separate the service delivery and the ICT leadership role, with both reporting to the Deputy Commissioner ICT. Second, once the service delivery function (currently called Government Technology Services) is a robust independent operating unit, that it be moved to DIA.

ENDS

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