New South Wales’ long-serving government chief information and digital officer Greg Wells will step down to become the new chief executive at service delivery agency Service NSW.
Mr Wells, who has spent the last four-and-a-half years as whole-of-government CIO, will move into the top job at the state’s one-stop shop for government services next week, replacing outgoing chief executive Damon Rees.
Mr Rees announced his departure in early November and said he would hand over the “baton to the next steward of this extraordinary organisation” to establish business consulting firm Better As Usual.
Outgoing Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government Victor Dominello revealed Mr Wells’ appointment at the Digital.NSW Showcase on Wednesday.
Service NSW delivery executive director Laura Christie will step into the NSW chief information and digital officer role for the next 12 months while a permanent replacement is sought.
Mr Wells is credited with establishing the $2.2 billion Digital Restart Fund, the foundation for many of the digital government-leading initiatives introduced by the state over the last three years.
The fund launched in 2019 to reform the traditional waterfall government IT funding model, which Mr Wells described as “broken” early on in his tenure.
It sought to invest in digital projects through smaller, more regular releases of funding, introducing new expectations for privacy and governance in the process.
Almost 90 per cent of the funding has already been committed to projects, such as common, reusable platforms, with $242 million remaining in the kitty over the next two years.
Mr Wells has also been responsible for implementing the state’s digital vision through several iterations of digital strategy and sub strategies in cloud, data and connectivity.
Prior to joining the former Department of Finance, Services and Innovation in July 2018, Mr Wells oversaw the ChildStory child protection IT platform at the then-Family and Community Services.
He also spent three years as NSW Health CIO between 2010 and 2013. He left the department in 2013 to set up a private consulting partnership, before returning to government.
On Wednesday, Mr Wells thanked the Digital.NSW team for taking on “everything that has been thrown in the last few years” and Minister Dominello for his vision and drive.
“The state owes [Minister Dominello] a big debt. He has been a really strong advocate,” he said.
Mr Wells’ move into Service NSW mirrors that of Mr Rees, who also spent time as the state’s chief information and digital officer before moving to the service delivery agency.
A Department of Customer Service spokesperson said, “Mr Wells is an accomplished leader with extensive experience across multiple government department as well as the private sector”.
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