NSW's ChildStory IT system is 50 percent over budget

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NSW's ChildStory IT system is 50 percent over budget

Platform, data migration issues take their toll.

NSW’s Department of Family and Community Services has spent an extra $28 million on the state's new ChildStory child protection IT platform, putting the project almost 50 percent over budget.

The integrated Salesforce platform will replace the current IT systems for child protection and out-of-home-care, known as the key information and directory systems (KiDS).

The project began in 2014, but only moved into development in June last year after 18 months designing, prototyping and procuring the underlying platform.

It was on time and budget late last year when the NSW audit office looked at it as part of a wider audit of the cluster, with the system's first release planned for delivery from late March.

But the project has faced hurdles around the stability of the platform and a complex data migration, leading it to push back the platform’s first release, which covers caseworks.

Today the audit office's annual financial audit of the Family and Community Services cluster revealed that the IT issues have taken their toll, with the estimated cost to complete the project now almost 50 percent over the original budget.

“The estimated cost to complete the ChildStory project was $88.3 million at 30 June 2017, a 46 percent increase from the original budget of $60.3 million,” the audit states.

The department received $100 million over four years in the state’s 2014-15 budget to replace its frontline systems, $60 million of which was capital expenditure.

The audit also confirms that the ChildStory platform went live at the department’s districts and child wellbeing units in November.

A second release of the system – for NGOs, children, families, carers and FACS contracts and payments staff – is currently planned for May next year

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