Could the about-to-be appointed chief of the federal government's Access Card project be the highest paid tech professional in the public sector?
According to tender documents calling for applications for the role of chief technology architect, payment could reach a cool $2 million over two years.
Not bad if you can get it.
The goal is to attract interest from the private sector here and overseas. Ideally, the smartcard chief will have already successfully completed a similar project elsewhere (well, we certainly hope so).
A spokesperson for Human Services Minister Joe Hockey admitted the advertised pay rate is certainly one of the highest offered in the public sector, adding that it is necessary if the government is to attract a suitable candidate from private enterprise.
"The chief technology architect, for example, needs to understand how Centrelink architecture works as well as that of other agencies, and then get together with them and make the project work," the spokesperson said.
The business of smartcards is certainly more profitable than that as Prime Minister of Australia. John Howard, by comparison, gets a paltry annual salary of $350,000.
Of course, a stint in Canberra may or may not be comparable to a war zone, but the ability to avoid a few passing missiles never goes astray in IT project management.
But hey, let's put it in perspective. Smartcards do not compare to telecommunications where Telstra chief Sol Trujillo pocketed $1 million just for signing on the dotted line. And that's in addition to his fixed $3 million salary plus bonuses.
So, if salary levels are an indicator, leading a telecommunications company must be tougher than leading a country. And smartcards? Is $2 million of taxpayers funds fair? What do you think? Will you line up for the job?