An ANAO report has criticised the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) for its poor quality of data, which affects “the efficiency and reliability of the department’s decision-making, and its internal and external reporting”.
With a view to restructuring the way DVA delivers services to veterans, DVA launched oneDVA in 2005-06. A key driver of this restructure was the purchase of an off-the-shelf IT product designed for social welfare environments.
The IT program is still in the early stages of implementation, and DVA has had to launch major initiatives to cleanse the data of dummy records and incorrect entries.
The report, Quality and Integrity of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Income Support Records, makes four key recommendations to bolster the integrity and the enhance quality of DVA’s income support information.
The first is the recommendation for a clear indication of who owns and controls data management and data integrity issues.
Secondly, it recommends DVA document a controls framework for income support and determine the most effective way of improving data integrity.
The third recommendation is that DVA implements standard procedures for data entry and the management of client records. This includes correcting key data fields of active records.
Lastly, it stresses the importance of harnessing the value of client feedback, and the need for all complaints and compliments to be recorded.
In response, DVA has commissioned several reviews to ensure the current controls and governance arrangements are effectively supporting the department’s operations and enabling quality decision making.