Auditors fail to acknowledge project complexity: Defence

The Department of Defence has taken a swipe at government auditors over a stinging report into a far-reaching upgrade of its human resources systems, despite agreeing with the "thrust" of the document.

The Department of Defence has taken a swipe at government auditors over a stinging report into a far-reaching upgrade of its human resources systems, despite agreeing with the "thrust" of the document.

Responding to the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report into the five-year Personnel Management Key Solution (PMKeyS) project, which was released on Friday, Defence said the document did "not acknowledge the significance and complexity" of the human resources business process change involved in shifting from purpose-built legacy systems to the new common platform.

However, the government department said it agreed with the ANAO recommendations and lessons to be learned from the project.

The PMKeyS project -- initiated in November 1997 -- was completed in December 2002, more than two years late and several million dollars over budget. The ANAO also found that the project was not approved in accordance with government requirements and training for users was deficient.

PMKeyS is now the core management system for all Defence personnel in areas such administration and leave, development and training and career management. PMKeyS manages payments to approximately 20,000 Defence staff.