NSW Electoral Commission nabs tech head from parliament
- 15 March, 2017 14:03
New South Wales Electoral Commission has appointed a new director of business systems as part of a corporate restructure which led to the resignation of its high-profile former CIO Ian Brightwell last year.
Simon Chalmers has been in the role since February after leaving his previous position of CIO at the Parliament of NSW, where he’d been working since 2007.
The technology function at the commission – previously headed by Brightwell – underwent a split last year, leading to the creation of two new functions: information services and corporate service.
John Cant, who filled Brightwell’s role until the restructure, has been executive director, information services since June.
After his resignation Brightwell, who had spent 11 years with the commission, told CIO Australia he hadn’t wanted to continue in the role due to dysfunction in the department.
“That’s the situation that emerged and that was largely down to senior management decisions. You’ve got to say ‘well if they have made that decision, there’s something wrong’. If I take myself out of the equation, there’s a chance they might sort it out,” Brightwell said at the time..
The commission’s 2016 Annual Report, published in October, indicated a move to as-a-service model for IT, noting “future ICT business investment is likely to move towards service as a delivery rather than ownership of assets”.
It also noted it would be moving to a GovDC data centre, since its lease on a Riverwood warehouse – where its data centre is housed – was coming to an end.
A replacement of the commission’s decade old financial management system is also on the horizon.
It is “timely to review the core system” the annual report states, adding “we will conduct a feasibility study into options available, including integrated systems such as SAP”.
Run for parliament
The Parliament of NSW is currently seeking a replacement for Chalmers.
His replacement will head the Department of Parliamentary Services and have four direct reports. As well as looking after the technology infrastructure for Parliament House and electorate offices across NSW, the role encompasses responsibility for the Parliamentary Library and Hansard.
The successful candidate will take home a still-negotiable salary of around $170,000 a year. The closing date for applications is March 26.
In May last year, the NSW Government amalgamated a number of councils across the region. In February the government announced in principle support for the creation of a further five new councils in metropolitan Sydney.
Elections for the new councils will take place later this year.