Grumpy editor vents on ACTA and Auckland

Grumpy editor vents on ACTA and Auckland

Auckland SuperCity needs a CIO and New Zealand does not need ACTA.

Sometimes you just have to vent. First, what the hell’s going on with ACTA? Since when did the film and music industries write New Zealand law? When did we elect them to do that?

That is exactly what’s happening in super-secret back-room dealings in the US, under the guise of an anti-counterfeiting treaty that suddenly seems to be all about copyright.

The UK and France have already rolled over. Will John Key have more spine?

New Zealanders were given assurances by MED negotiator George Wardle, who said the it was about “piracy on a commercial scale”. We could not contact Wardle last week — he was in Korea negotating ACTA — but those assurances are turning to dust.

Frankly, I’m more concerned about the process of ACTA than the substance. If we had come up with the exact same provisions, through our own sovereign democratic processes, I’d be fine about it. I would.

But that didn’t happen. In fact, pretty much the opposite happened in the case of Section 92. Other countries were following New Zealand’s lead in resisting, but now they are all slamming on the brakes and reversing their positions.

This thing is being shoved down our throats in secret because if it was done in public it would not stand.

Item two.

What the hell is the Auckland Transition Authority (ATA) thinking calling its future IT leader an “IS Manager” and having that person report to the CFO? That’s the structure diagram the ATA came up with earlier this month.

The Royal Commission on Auckland put information technology front and centre as one of the drivers that could transform Auckland and Auckland governance.

But the key executive that will be charged with delivering that, and managing one of the biggest, most complex and most crucial integration projects ever seen in this country, does not get a direct line report to the CEO.

Most of the existing councils have an executive bearing the job title CIO in recognition of the core importance of information systems to local government service delivery. But not the Supercity?

Even the discussion paper released by the ATA last week noted that it could not finalise many job positions until the ICT side was dealt with. That’s how central IT is.

Come on ATA. Call whoever gets the job Chief Information Officer and have them report to the CEO.

The writer is editor of Computerworld NZ.

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Tags government CIOauckland city

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