Tag Archives: The Australian

Australian Gateway Review key in revealing extent of Victoria Police IT project deficiencies

By David Bicknell

A report has found that the police in the state of Victoria in Australia lacked the capacity to deliver a major IT project and wasted millions of dollars on a failed system.

According to The Australian, the force had lost around $30 million as a result of the decision to abandon the replacement of its Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP) system, said the report by an Australian QC, Jack Rush.

“The investigations of the inquiry into the LEAP replacement and two other IT projects at Victoria Police revealed a lack of project management methodology and discipline leading to systemic mismanagement,” the report said.

“The inquiry identified a culture within Victoria Police that cost overruns were acceptable but above all, there was a lack of any form of strategy to define the IT needs and requirements of Victoria Police for the future.”

Victoria Police admitted last year it had underestimated the cost of replacing its inefficient, ageing LEAP system by $100m, before it abandoned the replacement project. 

Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said he would adopt the report’s recommendation that the force seek external assistance through an advisory group and had already been consulting external experts.

“Victoria Police needs help in delivering these projects and I will certainly be reaching out both nationally and internationally to make sure that we get this right,” he said.

A key Gateway Review was instrumental in the ending of LEAP, as the report discusses:

“The PIMS preliminary business case was subject to a Gateway Review in late July 2011. The scrutiny of this review process appears to have been the cause of considerable reflection at senior levels of Victoria Police command. The Gateway Review indicated interviewees advised that the preliminary business case did not provide sufficient justification for additional funding to complete the replacement of LEAP; and varied greatly in their expectations and understanding of what outcomes the Policing Information Management System (PIMS) would provide and the technology necessary to achieve outcomes.

The Gateway Review observed “… that best practice and strategic assessment begins with a fundamental understanding of what the problem is that requires fixing and the strategic response that the organisation is looking for.” The review found that the PIMS project was deficient in these respects:

  • the strategic vision for Victoria Police as it related to the PIMS project;
  • current and preferred policing workflow;
  • business requirements based upon the operational needs of modern policing; and
  • information management plan

Rush Report

Coming soon, credit ratings-like agencies for Cloud service providers

By David Bicknell

You won’t get many positive thoughts towards credit ratings agencies, particularly from European governments, several of whom have suffered the ignominy of seeing their coveted Triple A status downgraded.

Now imagine that same credit ratings approach for Cloud service providers. The research group Gartner has, and put forward its thoughts in an article reported in The Australian. (registration required)

Gartner’s research vice-president Brian Prentice says the need for credible external rating agencies for cloud service providers will become more urgent this year, because current industry performance contracts are unable to quantify, or be accountable for, the costly and potentially devastating indirect effects that Cloud-based service failures have on businesses.

Gartner believes trying to mitigate risk using service level agreements will prove unwieldy for companies, because they are often dealing directly with consultancies that on-sell cloud services in complex multi-tiered agreements.

“The issue here is that it’s very hard to expect the vendors to have a set of impacts on their business commensurate with the problems that could come up. What that means is that you can’t come back on that, and you have to do the assessment on whether the problem is going to show up in the first place,” says Prentice. He envisages that ratings agencies, operating on similar lines to those in the finance sector, will emerge for cloud service companies by the end of the year.

This is an intriguing idea. I wonder where these ratings agencies will emerge from, and how they will compete. Will we see a Big Three emerge, like Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch? How will they compete with each other? How quickly will they be able to gain a reputation that companies can rely on? And on what will that reputation be based? Is this something that the management consultancy one-stop-shops will offer? Or will pure-play Cloud ratings agencies emerge?   

One article recently suggested credit ratings agencies rule the world. Could something similar soon be ruling the Cloud too?

How credit ratings agencies rule the world