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$148 million allocation revealed for NSW Justice Cluster shared services reform

by Pallavi Singhal •
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The NSW Justice Cluster’s major shared corporate services reform is to cost $148 million over five years to 2018, the Auditor-General’s 2013 report on Law, Order and Emergency Services has revealed.

The Department of Attorney General and Justice’s (DAGJ) faltering LifeLink project has also been revived through an injection of $5.9 million in additional funds and a new completion date of April 2013.

The Justice Shared Corporate Services (JSCS) Reform Program, which began in July 2013, will analyse existing and new finance and human resource processes and systems across the Cluster’s 10 agencies, 40,000 full-time equivalent employees, and 90,000 volunteers. The Program will include the implementation of a consolidated solution for finance and human resource management.

DAGJ expects to begin a cluster-wide review of corporate services in 2014 as part of the Reform Program. JSCS is expected to be complete by 2018.

The bulk of the Program’s cost of $148 million is to come from internal revenue raising and savings measures, including $115 million from asset sales, $14.8 million from staff cost savings and $18.6 million from unidentified internal savings. The project has also received $33.4 million from the NSW Government’s ICT Reinvestment Pool.

DAGJ approached the market in two instances in November 2013 for services relating to the JSCS Program. It issued a request for expressions of interest (EOI) for a consolidated cluster-wide enterprise resource planning system, as well as a request for tender for Justice Shared Corporate Services Functional Facilitators to manage various areas of Program delivery.

The JSCS program begins against the backdrop of a number of poorly executed ICT projects at DAGJ.

The LifeLink project to replace the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages’ LifeData paper system with a citizen-facing information register has been underway for a decade since 2002-03, and is now expected to go live on 22 April 2014. The new budget for the project is $17.3 million.

LifeLink, which was initially due to be completed in 2008, faced contractor difficulties with two separate suppliers in 2010-11 and 2012, and the project was nearly terminated in 2012.

“After facilitated negotiations with the contractor, and the implementation of a new governance structure under the direct control of the Chief Information Officer, the project will now proceed to completion,” states the Auditor-General’s report.

“There were major shortcomings in the way the project was previously conducted. The Department needs to strengthen its controls and governance over major information technology projects.”

As a result of an internal audit report in October 2011, the Department-wide Project Management Office (PMO) has been given an extended reporting and oversight function relating to high-risk projects.

The 2011 report “envisaged the PMO would reassess existing commercial governance structures for projects currently underway to ensure potential issues with contracts were identified and escalated in a timely manner”, according to the Auditor-General.

“The Department is finalising a review of Cluster and Departmental governance arrangements. Actions arising from the review will help direct program and project management governance and associated reporting within the Cluster and Department.”

The Department of Corrective Services is currently conducting an internal review of governance arrangements and financial management under its Remediation and Enhancement and Architecture Lifecycle (REAL) Program, which was completed in 2013.

The Program began in 2009, with an aim of upgrading frontline business applications, technology infrastructure and database systems for prisoner management, financial operations, communications and record management.

REAL was completed on time and under its original budget of $47.6 million, at a final cost of $40.5 million. This is largely attributed to the “de-scoping of a planned legacy system upgrade in favour of migration to a new platform under the Justice Shared Corporate Services program”, and saved funds are likely to resurface in the JSCS Program.

Related Articles:

Third major NSW corporate services overhaul in motion

NSW Government confirms commitment to shared services Blueprint

Another project added to NSW Auditor General’s ICT watch-list

For more information, please contact the Editor (02) 9955 9896.

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  • NSW
  • Justice
  • Justice Shared Corporate Services Reform Program
  • LifeData
  • LifeLink
  • NSW Department of Attorney General and Justice
  • NSW Justice Cluster
  • Registry of Births
  • Deaths and Marriages
  • Remediation
  • Enhancement and Architectural Lifecycle