Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas has denied that the state government has initiated a moratorium on IT projects following his recent comments about the heavy costs from an “overabundance” of technology initiatives.
The treasurer told business leaders at a Melbourne event on Sunday that this surplus of IT projects had “cost the state of Victoria dearly", as reported by Fairfax.
As a result, the new Labor government would “tread carefully” when it comes to signing off on new IT initiatives as a result, he said.
The state has struggled through a particularly troubled past when it comes to IT work. Just this month it revealed it had scrapped another multi-million dollar project - VicRoads’ licensing system replacement - which had grown too problematic to be remediated.
However, a spokesman for Pallas denied to iTnews that the Treasurer's declaration indicated the state government would stop working on its internal electronic capabilities.
“It simply means the Victorian government needs to be satisfied that IT projects stack up," the spokesperson said.
“Before funding major ICT projects, the government will ... ensure that appropriate risk mitigation and governance structures are in place. This rigorous process was used on recently funded projects such as Service Victoria and high capacity signalling (announced in the recent state budget)."
He said agencies would be required to use off-the-shelf IT products as default into the future.
Pallas’ Liberal predecessors introduced a special oversight regime for high value, high risk projects soon after assuming government in 2010.
But in 2014 the state’s auditor-general complained the scheme was still being applied inconsistently.
This month the auditor-general issued the first in a rolling series of reports into Victorian public sector IT, which revealed that the state’s troubles with technology are far from over, and even more damningly, that some agencies seemed to be actively bypassing IT scrutiny.