Victoria’s Justice department will spend almost $40 million on a new fines management system over the next few years, despite cancelling its initial attempt at the replacement 12 months ago.
The state’s acting auditor-general Peter Frost in March revealed the government had been forced to cut its losses on the $60 million infringement management and enforcement system (IMES) after the vendor, Tenix Solutions, walked away from the troubled IT replacement.
In his report on the project, the auditor-general said the $60 million in funding for the project had already been exhausted.
However, state budget papers, released last week, show the government has managed to find some funding for the IMES project despite the official halt in proceedings.
The budget indicates $15.5 million is earmarked for expenditure in 2016-17.
A further $22.9 million remains to get the department through to the second quarter of 2017-18 when the current iteration of the project is due to be complete.
A justice spokesman indicated the department had reallocated savings from other initiatives.
“The funding set out in the budget are funds remaining after the ending of previous projects and this money will fund the new reform project,” he said.
The revised scheme has already earnt itself a place on the government’s high value/high risk projects register.
The original solution was intended to be a critical enabling feature of new legislation designed to make it easier for the government to pursue million of dollars in unpaid fines. It was due to take effect next month but has now been delayed indefinitely.
Justice has begun the process of getting the replacement back on track, however, having sent out a request for tenders to a select group of vendors in January this year, asking for a commercial-off-the-shelf IT system to support the legislative changes.
“This is part of an ongoing procurement process,” the spokesman said.
IMES was one of six IT projects picked out by the auditor-general in March for budgetary issues and delays, compounding what has been a long history of technology failures in the state’s public sector to attract the scorn of government performance watchdogs.