Industry braces as Government IT changes hands

Gray's challenge is to fill Tanner's shoes and lead a mature discussion on IT, according to Noonan

The Australian IT industry is watching with interest as the body responsible for Government IT, the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO), gets moved under Special Minister for State, Gary Gray.

According to Ovum public sector analyst, Kevin Noonan, Gray will have big shoes to fill after two consecutive strong performers in the role. He said the redistribution of AGIMO to an outer minister had worked well in the past.

“In the Coalition days Gary Nairn looked after AGIMO and IT and did a very good job,” he said. “In Nairn we probably had the first minister who really understood IT and was a good advocate.

“Then of course [the previous Minister, Lindsay] Tanner came along and set the bar even higher as a Minister who not only got IT but really was an incredibly strong advocate into Government.

“The challenge for Gray will be to demonstrate he is able to lead a mature discussion on IT.”

Noonan said the IT industry was keeping watch over the unprecedented political situation. He said an effective solution would be for Wong to clear the political path while Gray did the IT work.

“This is not a time when tried answers will work,” he said. “As a minority Government, [Labor] needs to find a way of taking a leadership position on IT.”