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Guidelines For Major Public Service IT Projects

State Services Minister, Hon Trevor Mallard today released the updated guidelines under which major information technology projects in the Public Service, the Police, and the Defence Force will be monitored.

The guidelines have been updated in light of recommendations in Dr Francis Small’s report on the INCIS project.

"The guidelines emphasise the need for departments to link their major IT projects to their own strategy as well as to broader Government strategies, like the e-government strategy, which aims to provide better services and greater participation in government, with better value for taxpayers.

"They underline the need for risk management and the importance of high-quality relationships with contractors. The need for effective peer review and independent quality assurance are also underlined.

"One of the most important aspects they stress is the need to think about the risks involved. To do this, projects should be properly reviewed at all stages – both independently and by people more closely involved in the operational work."

Trevor Mallard stressed that while these guidelines inform chief executives, monitoring agencies and others of best practice, the accountability for planning and implementing major IT projects remains with chief executives.

"Issuing guidelines is one way to reduce the risk of major IT projects, but they need to be acted upon by chief executives, monitoring agencies and IT professionals if they are to make a difference. "

The guidelines are being issued today following the announcement in April that the Government would accept all of Dr Small’s recommendations from the his report. Updated guidelines – to reflect the lessons from INCIS – put into effect those recommendations. The guidelines are available on the State Services Commission website: www.ssc.govt.nz.


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