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DIAC CIO Bob Correll retires

Replacement hired from another federal government agency

Former Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) chief information officer, Bob Correll

Former Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) chief information officer, Bob Correll

CIO of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Bob Correll, has left the agency for retirement and is set to be replaced early next month.

Staff within DIAC confirmed to CIO Correll had left the organisation to retire on Friday.

Correll began his tenure at the department in 2005, where he led the 'Systems for People' project from 2006. The $495 million project aimed to replace the agency’s legacy support systems in favour of a set of 14 Web-based “role-based” portals covering case management, detention services, health, security, border security and visa management.

It would consolidate approximately 120 million records across 20 major and 70 minor computer systems, and be able to handle some 10,000 search requests per day.

In 2006 IBM was awarded a $250 million contract for the systems overhaul, which included vendors UXC, CSC, Fujitsu, EDS, Oracle, Siebel, Tibco, RuleBurst and Apis Computing.

The department was awarded the “excellence in e-government award” for one element of the project - the visa and citizenship wizards project - in 2009 by the Department of Finance and Deregulation. Other elements of the project were also awarded.

Correll, who spoke at the 2010 CIO Summit in Sydney, said at the time that 'Systems for People' was the “first wave” of a transformational change within the department and another five-year change process would begin when the last portal had been implemented.

However, the final drop for the project, initially scheduled for completion in June last year, were delayed by the 2010 Federal election.

At the time of his speech, Correll said the department had not rescheduled the drop, but it is believed to have only seen release on April 4 this year under the IBM contract.

In an interview with CIO in June 2010, Correll talked up the virtues of Cloud computing, saying it could be the next step in DIAC's electronic Visa system. Correll said issues around Cloud security and privacy needed to be resolved before it would be adopted on a large scale.

Inital deployments of Cloud computing at the department are believed to resolve around public-facing online services, such as Visa applications.

Update: A spokesperson for DIAC told CIO the Systems for People project is proceeding as planned and the new Visa Portal is being used by all staff saying claims employees were still using the old Visa processing system as “completely false”.

Sources familiar with DIAC’s succession plan told CIO Correll will be replaced by Tony Kwan, CIO at the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

Kwan’s appointment will begin on May 11 and, according to DIAC, there won't be an acting CIO in the meantime.

Kwan was formerly CIO at the old federal Department of Education Science and Training (DEST).

Follow Rodney Gedda on Twitter: @rodneygedda

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