Services Australia sees return of former chief transformation officer

By Shannon Jenkins

May 26, 2020

parliamentary secretaries
There are several reasons not to introduce competition to foundational public infrastructure. (Image: Adobe/TPG)

Senior public servant John Murphy has left his role as Services Australia’s chief transformation officer, prompting the return of a familiar face.

Murphy finished up in the highly paid position on Friday, according to iTnews. He had moved from a 35-year career in the banking sector to the then-Department of Human Services in 2016 to take on the title of deputy secretary for payments reform.

John Murphy

Since then, Murphy has been overseeing the seven-year Welfare Payments Infrastructure Transformation project, which has remained through DHS’ transformation into Services Australia, which officially came into effect in February.

Leading the project has involved designing and implementing the business model for Centrelink payments, including developing a new information and communications technology system.

Murphy has previously said the project aims to redesign services based on user needs and expectations, and follows an “agile methodology” so the transformation remains relevant, even when it’s finished.

READ MORE: WPIT good: DHS aims to prove public servants can do ‘agile’

With three years left until the extensive program of work is complete, Charles McHardie — deputy secretary transformation and enabling services at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs — has returned to the job.

Prior to joining Veterans’ Affairs early last year, McHardie was CTO and acting chief information officer at DHS.

Charles McHardie

Back in 2016, McHardie said one of the major challenges of the Welfare Payments Infrastructure Transformation project was that “there are not a lot of people left in the world that understand the way Centrelink is put together, end to end”.

“We’ve started doing some of it ourselves with our own developers so we can learn a lot of lessons before we really get stuck in over the next couple of years, but we don’t underestimate the size of the challenge,” he said at the time.

So far the project has delivered a number of improvements to service delivery, including a digital platform which allows people to make online claims rather than having to visit a service centre, has removed the need for customers to submit paper forms, and allows customers to manage their welfare payments online.

The next stages of the transformation involve improving online experience, streamlining processes, improving and utilising data services, and delivering re-usable capabilities.

McHardie has recently been working at Services Australia as part of the Australian Public Service’s redeployment effort in response to the coronavirus pandemic. He officially started as CTO on Monday.

READ MORE: What’s eating the public sector’s top technologists?


About the author
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
The Mandarin Premium

Insights & analysis that matter to you

Subscribe for only $5 a week


Get Premium Today