NSW IT spending to be policed by projects cop

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NSW IT spending to be policed by projects cop

Troublesome government initiatives under new exec's eye.

The NSW government is hiring a new executive to keep tabs on notoriously problematic IT projects and hopefully avoid a repeat of embarrassing headaches like the $752 million LMBR education overhaul.

The Department of Finance, Services and Innovation is calling for candidates interested in becoming a key deputy to the state’s new chief information and digital officer Damon Rees, charged with policing IT project delivery across the government.

The new executive director of ICT assurance will attract a salary of up to $282,284 to handle some of the trickiest challenges on the state’s technology agenda.

The NSW Department of Education is currently dealing with the unwanted mantle of leading the state’s worst performing IT project. Its learning management and business reform (LMBR) program, which aims to replace core ERP and student management systems in thousands of schools across the state, recently bumped its costs up yet again to $752 million.

Its TAFE modules have performed so badly that the vocational education agency is backing out of the program altogether.

DFSI’s new IT projects cop will be under pressure to make sure future initiatives are equipped to avoid these sorts of pitfalls before they’re even funded.

The department’s job ad says the successful candidate will need to provide “high level investment assurance to government through the development and implementation of whole of government assurance framework”.

The executive director’s first task will be to put together a team of project management experts who will run assessments on individual agency projects.

He or she will then need to develop a procedure for monitoring all the the major IT projects underway in the state government and report back with “high level strategic advice” to ministers, the DFSI secretary, and CIDO on how to “improve ICT investment outcomes and confidence in project delivery”.

The executive's work will be bolstered by a $9.8 million funding injection from the June budget that will pay for a “best practice ICT project delivery framework” over the coming four years.

The money will also pay for extra resourcing for periodic gateway reviews on IT projects to make sure they are delivering on their promises before funding is given to new stages of work.

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