The NSW Auditor-General has revealed that the then NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has spent almost $1m implementing project and portfolio management software to reduce investment errors. DPI, which is now part of the Industry and Investment super department has plans to continue the development and roll-out.
Their intentions are made to the Auditor-General in his report, Financial Audits Volume Ten 2009: focusing on Transport, Planning and Industry, tabled in Parliament last week.
The move was in response to a recommendation by the Auditor-General, that DPI further develop "the transparency of its Research and Development (R&D) selection principles to demonstrate that projects and activities are funded in accordance with the mix of industry and public benefits they will generate."
DPI said that it has "implemented a Project Approval Process including a Framework for Investment (efficiency, appropriateness and effectiveness), that assesses costs and beneficiaries."
In an attempt to increase transparency of R&D investment and reporting, DPI has invested in Clarity, a project and portfolio management software.
DPI says that "investment in Clarity (about $750,000 to date) will also result in improved R&D selection by improving strategic decision making which will minimise Type I errors (i.e. investing in the wrong projects) and Type II errors (i.e. failing to invest in the right projects)."
The aim to lessen the likelihood of Type I and Type II errors comes from a goal of "ensuring activities are funded in accordance with the mix of industry and public benefits they will generate."