Education writes off millions after apprenticeship IT system fail

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Education writes off millions after apprenticeship IT system fail

But swallows most of the cost.

The Department of Education and Training has written off just under $10 million from its bungled national apprenticeship management IT system.

The department advised in its latest financial statements that the closure of the Australian Apprenticeship Management System (AAMS) had directly resulted in a $9.7 million impairment.

The troubled system was dumped by the department in May after a PwC review found evidence of systemic project weaknesses and declared the AAMS “not fit for purpose”.

It had meant to replace Education's 16-year-old Training and Youth Management System (TYIMS), which was described as outdated and buckling under pressure as far back as June 2013.

The decision followed a series of delays that first began in July 2016, the original go-live date for the department to begin replacing paper-based process and deliver $93 million worth of savings.

It later emerged that the decision to scrap the project was influenced by critical defects with the NEC-built system.

At this point the total cost of the project had ballooned to $24.1 million –$10.5 million of which had been paid out to NEC – far more than the write down figure for the project.

A spokesperson for the department told iTnews that “only part of [the $10.5 million paid to NEC] was capitalised and was reflected in the $9.7 million write-down”.

“The contract between NEC and the department was terminated on the terms agreed between the parties,” the spokesperson said, adding that the source code from the project had been handed over from NEC.

Despite the ordeal, the department recently kicked off a new program of work to replace the Training and Youth Management System, which is expected to be used for at least the next year-and-a-half.

“The department is developing a new business case for the replacement of the Training and Youth Management System (TYIMS) and will assess reused opportunities as part of the work,” the spokesperson said.

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