The Government has scrapped its plan to appoint a powerful individual to shape the country’s digital future in the wake of the debacle over the appointment of a chief technology officer for the country earlier this year.
Government Digital Services Minister Megan Woods has instead recommended to the Cabinet that a small group of people should be appointed to fulfil the functions that would have been performed by a CTO.
That’s a terrible idea. Basically instead of having a CTO who can actually achieve things, they are going to have another advisory group.
It understood the new group of expert advisers will operate within the same $500,000 budget that had been earmarked for Handley’s salary and travel expenses, and that the group may only report to Woods, rather than also reporting directly to the Prime Minister.
So $500,000 on a group that will, umm, do what? There’s a huge difference between what one full-time person can do, and what a group of people who meet for four hours a month can do.