Six months ago, the Victorian Ombudsman released a damning report into ten major ICT projects being rolled-out by the State Government, concluding that each one was over budget and most behind schedule, and making no less than 58 recommendations for the improvement of ICT management.
Following the recent announcement that a second of the projects, HealthSMART, has been scrapped by the Baillieu Government Intermedium has taken a closer look at the progress to date of all ten:
Victoria Police’s Link project was suspended in June 2011after the agency discovered that$187.2 million would be needed to complete it. Link was originally budgeted at $59.5 million.
The Police will continue to use its ageing LEAP database, which was established in 1992, until a new replacement system can be implemented. The Government has since given the agency a July 2013 deadline to submit a business case outlining plans for a new system replacement.
The $566 million rollout of the Department of Health’s HealthSMART system was cancelled by the Baillieu Government in May 2012. With an original cost of $323 million, the e-health system was due to be implemented in ten Victorian hospitals by 2007. Only four hospitals ever received full system integration.
HealthSMART systems will remain in use at these locations. Other hospitals will be required to implement their own separate e-health solutions on an individual basis.
Status: Work in progress
Despite being heavily criticised by the Victorian Coalition whilst in state opposition, the $1.35 billion Myki system was saved from the ICT project scrap yard after a review of the smartcard project found that replacing it with another new e-ticketing solution may cost up to $2 billion. Myki is currently $608.1 million over budget and almost five years behind schedule. All paper-based Metcard tickets are due to be discontinued in December 2012.
Myki’s$1.35 billion price tag is greater than the combined cost of all nine other ICT projects outlined in the Ombudsman’s report, which amounts to $1.29 billion, inclusive of all budget blowout costs.
Registration and Licensing (RandL)
Status: Work in progress
Designed to replace VicRoad’s23 year-old registration and licensing systems, the RandL project was subject to multiple reviews. Cabinet budget allocations consistently underfunded the project due to a lack of confidence in business cases prepared by VicRoads, further delaying the project and increasing costs.
The Department’s revised cost for RandL now stands at $158.5 million, well in excess of its original $114.7 million budget. RandL, which was originally to be completed by Q1 2012, is now due for completion in early 2013.
Client Relationship Information System (CRIS)
CRIS was completed in 2008, albeit three years late and 218 per cent, or $47 million, over budget. Despite being finished, Victorian Department of Human Services staff members have reported major flaws associated with the CRIS, which resulted in “stress, frustration and an increased workload.”
Ultranet was the only ICT project which met its original deadline of 12 July 2010. However, the system was only implemented in a preliminary form and still requires ongoing upgrades.
The project was also subject to a failed tender process, resulting in a year-long delay in the procurement process. Ultranet’s final $99 million price tag is also well in excess of its original $60.5 million budget. Ultranet has since become available for the use of teachers, parents and students.
Integrated Courts Management System (ICMS)
Status: Under Review
Originally scheduled for completion by June 2009, the ICMS project was halted after the Supreme Court reported serious performance concerns around its case management component, CourtView. CourtView is one of five elements making up the ICMS, three of which are complete.
Whilst ICMS has been implemented in both the Supreme Court and the Coroners Court, any further rollout will be dependent on an internal review of ICMS, according to a Department of Justice spokesperson. It status of this internal review is currently unknown. An additional $21 million is needed to complete the system.
Property and Laboratory Management (PALM)
Status: Work in progress
Due to be completed by June 2012, Victoria Police’s PALM project is currently $5 million over budget and 18 months behind schedule. Poor project management and disunity amongst the PALM team members resulted in the increased costs and delays.
The Victorian Police Commissioner has supported the Ombudsman’s recommendation to conduct a post-implementation review of the project upon completion.
Despite being the Victoria Police’s third ICT project on the Ombudsman’s list, HRAssist is the agency’s only project to have been completed, albeit six months behind schedule, and at a cost of $42.1 million. The project’s original budget was $18.4 million.
Victoria Police’s ICT woes have been compounded by difficulties hiring and retaining skilled IT staff including a CIO, according to a report released by the State Services Authority. The agency’s last CIO, Michael Vanderheide, vacated the position in July 2011 to lead the IT shared services agency CenITex.
Housing Integrated Information Program (HIIP)
The final release of HIIP was only recently implemented, with Victorian Department of Human Services staff using the system since 21 May 2012, according to a Department spokesman.
At a cost of $123.5 million, well over the original budget of $93 million, HIIP was due to be completed by 2004. The Ombudsman blamed poor departmental planning and vendor performance issues for the series of delays and revised costs that led to the 7.5 year delay.