Queensland appoints first chief customer and digital officer

Recent appointment signals new focus on digital transformation for online government services in Sunshine State

The newly created role of chief customer and digital officer for the state of Queensland has gone to Chris Fechner, whose job will be to implement the government's digital vision.

Fechner was most recently chief digital and product officer at Service NSW. It’s not the first time Fechner has had a Queensland government role either. He was the CIO for the department of Transport and Main Roads in the Sunshine State for two years, after which he had a six-year stint as CIO in NSW Government in planning and environment departments.

The appointment was recently announced by Queensland minister for digital technology, Mick de Brenni, at an event to launch the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland Digital Readiness report.

“He will continue the re-engineering of Queensland Government services to foster a customer obsessive culture,” de Brenni said at the event, describing Fechner’s role," de Brenni stated.

Queensland Premier, Annastaci Palaszczuk government’s digital vision, outlined by de Brenni, includes creating a digital government that is easy to deal with, informed by the people it serves and fit for the digital age, is tailored to Queenslanders and Queensland business, and utilises omnichannel delivery that is seamless and high quality.

The chief customer and digital officer is a newly created role for Queensland, after it was announced in the second-half of last year. The aim is to focus the government’s online services around the customer and to keep pace with other states in their digital transformation project.

A document issued by the Department of Housing and Public Works said the State Government has typically adopted a gradual and incremental approach to updating the services across the public sector. However, that approach was proving no longer sufficient to keep pace with the increasing expectations of citizens and industry.

“If this trend continues, Queensland risks falling further behind other jurisdictions locally and globally, and will fail to deliver services that Queenslanders need, in the way that they want to access them,” the document stated.

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