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Difficulties recruiting ‘right’ ICT staff – CIO

The difficulty in filling key roles in information and communications technology (ICT) has been raised by the HSE’s Interim Chief Information Officer (CIO), the Medical Independent (MI) can report. The Interim CIO Mr Fran Thompson raised the issue at a meeting of the HSE’s audit and risk committee in late 2020. He stated that ICT staff moving to other roles was a particular challenge.

At the meeting, Mr Thompson delivered a detailed briefing on improving the IT environment. According to the minutes of the meeting, seen by MI through Freedom of Information law, Mr Thompson outlined that the “majority of ICT projects have been inherited, and in many cases, the key people have now moved into different roles”.

“Finding the right people to fill these roles has become a key issue within ICT,” the minutes stated. Mr Thompson highlighted that these projects should be considered business projects rather than ICT projects and should therefore have a business-led “application governance, which is owned by business rather than ICT”.

“Additionally, there needs to be product teams assigned for large applications,” according to the minutes. These teams would have the necessary skills to manage the life cycle of the products, he outlined. The committee noted the “vast resource requirement” in order to fulfil projects in the HSE and requested that the CIO return with a list of projects where there was an increasing underlying risk.

MI recently reported that Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has sought a “more formal assessment” and “appropriate levels of accountability” of HSE investment in ICT. The issue was raised in a letter to Mr Ciarán Devane, Chair of the HSE board.

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