Tag Archives: Victorian Ombudsman

Strewth! Managing public sector IT projects is also a challenge Down Under

By David Bicknell

A critical report by the Ombudsman in the Australian state of Victoria has meant that taxpayers will have to bear an additional A$1.44bn of costs because of mismanaged IT projects.

The Victorian Ombudsman George Brouwer looked at 10 major IT projects which suffered cost overruns under the Labour government, including the public transport ticketing system myki.

Mr Brouwer found each that project failed to meet user expectations, was delivered late and overran on cost.

The original budget for the projects was $1.3 billion but new estimates suggest the costs have more than doubled.

The report found the two largest projects, myki and the hospital IT system HealthSMART, would need almost $600 million more than originally planned, while Victoria Police spent $5 9 million on a Link crime database  over four years before it was cancelled. VicRoads spent $52 million on a licensing system RandL, which had not yet made it past the design phase.

The Ombudsman’s Report says:

“In Victoria over the last few years, in our respective roles as Auditor-General and Ombudsman, we have tabled in Parliament a number of reports relating to ICT-enabled projects. These reports have identified significant shortcomings in the public sector’s management of such projects and have included numerous recommendations about how such management can be improved.

“Despite these reports, we see little sign of lessons learnt in the public sector. The evidence to date is that the public sector is not managing ICT-enabled projects effectively, as demonstrated by the current difficulties that Victoria is facing in this area and the increasingly adverse public comment about major ICT-enabled projects. A new and more disciplined approach is required if the government is to avoid being faced with continuing cost overruns and failures to deliver.”

You can read the Ombudsman’s report here