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Government monitoring of major IT projects

11 April 2001 Media Statement

Government monitoring of major IT projects

The Government has strengthened the monitoring regime for major departmental information technology (IT) projects as part of the response to the INCIS project.

State Services Minister Trevor Mallard said the Government wanted to reduce the risk of major IT projects over-running budgets and deadlines, and where there is the potential for over running budgets, get early warning.

The changes were in line with the recommendations of Dr Francis Small¡¦s review of the INCIS project.

¡§The Government is keen to draw on all the lessons of INCIS,¡¨ Trevor Mallard said.

Under the new regime, departments that are managing major IT projects will have to:

„h Establish an agreed programme with the State Services Commission and Treasury (the monitoring agencies) for reporting regularly on risk, including risks in financing, capability, technology, and in effects on the business of the department.

„h Ensure that major projects are consistent with the department¡¦s information systems strategic plan and are supported by a business case and comprehensive project plan.

„h Satisfy monitoring agencies that a suitable risk management process is in place, and that there are contingency plans to deal with emerging risks.

„h Report on any significant change to the criteria, governance, and structures of a major project, or any change in functionality, and test change against business cases.

Trevor Mallard said such practises were already in place for many major IT projects.



"Indeed, the requirements are good business practice. The aim now is to standardise the requirements and support departments in meeting them.


"No organisation, in either the public or the private sector, can ever guarantee that major IT projects will be completed perfectly. Risk is implicit in any capital project. But our aim is to better support departments that are running projects, and provide the means to anticipate problems, while allowing them to manage their own business and remain accountable for their decisions.

¡§Under the updated regime, the risks of any project are more likely to be explicit. As well, the regime should give Ministers and chief executives a clear picture of the potential problems before they proceed and as the project unfolds,¡¨ Trevor Mallard said.

ENDS

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