Chief information officer to leave SDHB

The IT chief who rebuilt the old Otago health board's IT department after the Michael Swann fraud says he is looking forward to his new challenge in the private sector.

Southern District Health Board chief information officer Grant Taylor is leaving next month after three and a-half years.

Mr Taylor said the highlight of his time was rebuilding the information department after the "Swann debacle".

Swann, the board's former chief information officer, was sentenced last year to nine and a-half years' prison for defrauding the old Otago board of $16.9 million between 2000 and 2006.

Mr Taylor said he pulled the team together, provided leadership, strong systems, and more transparency.

Reporting to board committees had been inadequate in the Swann era, he said.

Mr Taylor will take up his new position as chief information officer at Kathmandu in Christchurch at the end of next month.

Mr Taylor said leaving Dunedin, where he was born and bred, was not an easy decision.

However, he would not miss the public sector, which was heavy with bureaucracy and governance, and struggling under budget deficits.

A SDHB spokeswoman said services and technology manager John Simpson would be acting chief information officer until an appointment was made.

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