Slide over CIO, ATO to hire QIO

QIO strategic or just another three-letter acronym?

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will hire a quality improvement officer (QIO) to work on the government department's IT change program.

The ATO's internal recruiters released an invitation for suitably qualified candidates to apply for the newly created position of QIO, with the period of engagement for the contract being 12 months with an extension option of up to 12 months.

The Position is based in Canberra and will be located within the Change Program Support Function (CPSF) and IT change program management branch of the ICT business line.

The CPSF team within change program management provides support for and administers all change program applications once they are in production.

A spokesperson for the ATO said the new QIO will report to CIO Bill Gibson. The submissions deadline is set for Monday July 16 and the contract is expected to begin in early to mid-August.

According to the ATO, the QIO will be responsible for implementing and delivering "continuous improvement strategies" throughout the CPSF.

"The QIO will be engaged to manage the review of the CPSF operational processes, coordinate the approval of changes to agreed processes, undertake detailed research and analysis, look forward to consideration of impacts on processes from major projects, [and] undertake reviews and quality assurance of the processes which have been implemented."

The QIO will also manage relationships with business and technical partners and provide advice on issues and risks to the processes.

A high level of communication skills and the ability to communicate with staff and stakeholders are requirements for the position.

Independent IT industry and management analyst Peter Hind said it's too early to say how the QIO role will work in practice but the ATO's move is a step in right direction to realizing IT is all about business processes.

"Prominent IT departments are moving away from a purely technology organization to how IT is interacting with the business, so this strikes me as very forward thinking," Hind said.

Hind had not heard of the QIO title but said there was a similar tag given to a wave of quality assurance initiatives of the past decade.

"Earlier initiatives were specifically focused on a process to get them certified and this [appointment] looks like quality of processes as a whole," he said.

Hind said this is needed especially in a big organization where the reach of IT is so broad it can be difficult to get information on processes.

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