NSW has a new IT projects watchdog

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NSW has a new IT projects watchdog

State-wide PMO introduced.

The NSW government is set to introduce an additional mechanism for monitoring the health of ICT projects across their lifecycle, less than a year after embarking on a plan to banish IT failures.

The Department of Finance, Services and Innovation strengthened its ICT investment approach late last year by implementing a new risk-based approach and dedicated ICT assurance unit to oversee the $2.4 billion that the state invests in ICT each year.

The move followed a series of cost overruns, most noteably the Department of Education's beleaguered learning management and business reform (LMBR) project.

The assurance unit is charged with implementing and administering the ICT assurance framework (IAF) to ensure all projects valued at $10 million or more, or fall under $10 million but are of “strategic importance or concern”, go through a rigorous review process.

Government chief information and digital officer Damon Rees has final say on whether projects move forward.

This same threshold has been adopted for the federal Digital Transformation Agency’s ongoing review of all IT projects across the federal government, overseen by a digital investment management office.

NSW DFSI will now create a whole-of-government enterprise project management office (EPMO) within the ICT assurance unit to support its portfolio management role.

A spokesperson said the EPMO will be responsible for establishing “sector-wide ICT portfolio, project and program monitoring and reporting to improve ICT investment outcomes and confidence in project delivery”.

It will do so by collecting “ICT portfolio insights, risks, and issues for discussion at senior ICT governance forums” and conducting “ICT learnings and trends reporting, through assurance reviews, to drive recommended improvements in project delivery”, the spokesperson said.

It will be headed by a separate PMO director, which the department is in the process of recruiting.

The PMO director will report to executive director of ICT assurance Mark Howard, who was hired last year to police IT project management across government.

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