Victoria to wait another eight months for public IT dashboard

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Victoria to wait another eight months for public IT dashboard

Slow path to tech transparency.

The Victorian government’s peak IT office is busy constructing a long-awaited public IT project dashboard it says will shine a light on the state’s historically problematic technology projects.

But it could be another eight months until the scheme comes to fruition.

The new enterprise solutions division of the DPC, led by Grahame Coles, has taken over responsibility for the state’s whole of government IT direction and shared services following post-election machinery of government changes late last year.

This includes responsibility for a public-facing dashboard listing the cost and status of the state’s biggest technology projects, modelled on the version set up by Queensland and the US government before that.

The dashboards mark projects according to a red, amber and green traffic light system based on budget, schedule and quality parameters.

A Victorian IT dashboard has been on the agenda for some time, initially flagged in an IT strategy released by the former Liberal government. According to that plan, it was due by December last year.

The idea has recently been revived thanks to a push from the state Auditor-General’s office, which recommended the DPC forge ahead with the transparency initiative earlier this year after it found the state was potentially spending twice as much on IT every year than its own public estimates.

In the interim, the audit office mocked up its own overview of the state’s tech initiatives and where IT dollars are being spent, including the top ten most expensive projects government-wide.

The Auditor-General’s dashboard only points to project status as of late 2014 and will not be updated on an ongoing basis.

A spokesperson for the DPC said the department was “currently developing high-level requirements” for the official Victorian dashboard.

She advised iTnews the department plans to start using the reporting tool by March 2016.

The spokesperson said it would "allow the Victorian government to capture emerging trends in ICT expenditure and make it easier to track the performance of ICT projects” and also "highlight opportunities for improvement in the Victorian government’s approach to information management and technology”.

The IT projects dashboard concept originated with inaugural White House CIO Vivek Kundra, who launched the US version as an incentive to improve technology project management.

He claims the initiative saved the federal government US$3 billion in its first six months, not least because dozens of underperforming projects were scrapped as soon as they were exposed.

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