WA heralds shared services review

Summary:Western Australia's Office of Shared Services (OSS) is set to be reviewed again, two years after its last review, which the government released as it gave the troubled project a new lease of life.

Western Australia's Office of Shared Services (OSS) is set to be reviewed again, two years after its last review, which the government released as it gave the troubled project a new lease of life.

Premier Colin Barnett made the announcement yesterday, saying that agency roll-ins to shared finance and payroll systems would be halted until the review could be completed.

Under the review, the state government will consider what the OSS has done in its seven-year history, what could be done better and how it could achieve better value for money.

"This review is an opportunity to take stock of what has happened so we can inform our future decision making," Barnett said.

Western Australia's auditor-general questioned the progress of the shared services project last November, saying that cost-savings projections for the project may never be met after the delivery date blew out by seven years, sending the budget skywards by $91 million to over $400 million.

The blowouts, which became a key issue after a damning auditor-general's report in 2007 (PDF), saw the WA Government take a firmer grip on the reigns in 2008.

It had been recommended at the time that regular reviews into the program take place every 18 months.

According to a shared services roll-in schedule on the Western Australian Department of Treasury and Finance website, 12 agencies are currently in the middle of integration into the state's shared services plan.

So far, 55 of 90 agencies have been successfully rolled into the program.

Topics: Government, Government : AU

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A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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