Vic auditor takes ICT in hand

Victoria's auditor-general has published a common sense guide to implementing large IT projects with the aim of improving the state government's recent poor record in the area.

Victoria's auditor-general has published a common sense guide to implementing large IT projects with the aim of improving the state government's recent poor record in the area.

"Recent ICT-focused audits carried out by my office, as well as data from the Department of Treasury and Finance's Gateway Unit, clearly indicate that agencies within the Victorian public sector sometimes begin large, expensive ICT projects without a clear understanding of goals, required resources or risks," wrote auditor-general Des Pearson in the guide.

Pearson said the guide offered a "lessons-learned approach" to develop general principles towards dealing with large IT projects that could be used by anyone within the state's public sector.

The document noted that the state government as a whole spent $1.5 billion on new and existing ICT investments and infrastructure in 2007.

However Victoria has suffered a number of recent high-profile problems with large ICT projects, ranging from the myki public transport smartcard debacle to delays and cost overruns in implementing the $360 million HealthSMART project, which aims to rejuvenate e-health systems.

The full guide can be found on the auditor's web site here.

Also today, Pearson's office published a checklist for government records management, an area which has in recent times increasingly come under the remit of public sector ICT departments.

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