• Enjoy the freedom to innovate and grow your business

    [ad] With Microsoft Azure you have hybrid cloud flexibility, allowing your platform to span your cloud and on premise data centre. Learn more at microsoftcloud.com.

  • IT Admin: No Time to Save Time?

    [ad] Do you spend too much time patching machines or cleaning up after virus attacks? With automation controlled from a central IT management console accessible anytime, anywhere – you can save time for bigger tasks. Try simple IT management from GFI Cloud and start saving time today!

  • Free Forrester analysis of CRM solutions

    [ad] In this 25 page report, independent analyst house Forrester evaluates 18 significant products in the customer relationship management space from a broad range of vendors, detailing its findings on how CRM suites measure up and plotting where they stand in relation to each other. Download it for free now.

  • Great articles on other sites
  • RSS Great articles on other sites

  • Reader giveaway: Google Nexus 5

    We’re big fans of Google’s Nexus line-up in general at Delimiter towers. Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10 … we love pretty much anything Nexus. Because of this we've kicked off a new competition to give away one of Google’s new Nexus 5 smartphones to a lucky reader. Click here to enter.

  • Blog, Enterprise IT - Written by on Monday, November 12, 2012 11:36 - 12 Comments

    Qld may ditch $1.2bn Health payroll project,
    start again

    blog Remember Queensland Health’s botched payroll systems overhaul? The project which was initially estimated to a relatively small initiative, but ballooned out in value to more than $1.2 billion and stil doesn’t quite work? The one which the Queensland Government is still considering suing contractor IBM over? The one IBM claimed it successfully delivered its promises on? Yeah. According to an article in the Courier Mail this morning, the new LNP administration in Queensland is considering ditching the whole thing and starting again. The newspaper reports (we recommend you click here for the full article):

    “Health Minister Lawrence Springborg last night said despite attempts to fix it, ongoing problems were “serious enough to warrant having a close look at” junking it entirely.”

    It’s hard to know what to make of this potential move by the Queensland Government. On the one hand, given that the new payroll platform still doesn’t really work and is going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars to remediate, it would certainly be an attractive option to ditch the whole plan and start again fresh. On the other hand, detailed reports such as this audit by KPMG have already outlined a comprehensive path forward for the payroll overhaul, and it’s hard to escape the feeling that starting fresh would quite likely lead to another disaster of epic proportions, four years down the track. Not exactly a set of enviable options.

    Image credit: Back the Future movie promotional image

    submit to reddit


    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

    1. Gav
      Posted 12/11/2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink |

      From memory there are about 11,000 contract variations for 74,000 people. I’d suggest that few payroll systems could cope with this kind of variance.

      • Posted 12/11/2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink |

        That’s a matter of speccing the solution right in the first place. If the system needs to do that, you build a system that can do that.

        If they didn’t, that’s another point of #fail.

        • Northern Blue
          Posted 13/11/2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink |

          But isn’t it also encumbent on the institution offering the contract to review processes and identify where complexity can be removed? You can find more payroll systems to choose from if your pay structures are within reasonable common business standards.

          • TechinBris
            Posted 15/11/2012 at 7:48 pm | Permalink |

            Have you ever considered the range of expertise that is utilised in the whole of QLD Health? Have you considered the range of hours, Shift Workers and what 24/7/365 Health Care is? Now take that with a State the size of QLD and the good dash of a Population that is fairly spread out all over the place and it is big! So the Payroll system would have to be big enough to cope with such a diverse range of expertise, contracts, awards, modifications when a person calls in sick, but someone has to fill in for them as sick and dying won’t pause in the health matters because the Nurse is ill at home in bed.
            Unfortunately, there is no easy solution. Unless you are going to break it up into a thousand pieces and then that is just another complexity.
            But what your proposing it seems is exactly what I said would be tried, and I was called alarmist. See how predictable this all is becoming. :{)

            • Northern Blue
              Posted 16/11/2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink |

              Reviewing the award structures with a view to simplifying their coding into an award interpreter is hardly alarmists. It is just plain basic good IT planning. In fact payroll IT support should be/have been involved IN THE NEGOTIATIONS of awards. A simple “no that isn’t easy to do” would stop big problems later down the track.

              On power requirements, rather than centralising more you will find that they will more likely move back to a decentralised model. A single district’s payroll will not hold up the rest of the districts under that model. This again, is a simple load distribution strategy. The bonus here also is that the processing cycle of payroll (2x 10-5 hours currently) will be dramatically reduced. The data entry is back on-line a lot quicker.

    2. TechinBris
      Posted 12/11/2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink |

      Oh I think we know what will happen. They will endeavor to revision the law to make the QLD Health contracts change to a few “simplified” outcomes which will disadvantage the Staff and the Public whilst also shifting all the work out to private Contractors under the guise of “Savings” and “Efficiency”. You can use the words, but it doesn’t always make it the truth. They won’t tell anyone that it will end up costing more in the long run (Private Companies don’t do services at cost, but want growing profits (see Capitalism) annually) and the costs of getting rid of the current Staff, unless they plan to implement Work Choices under some other name by force, where they can in State Law. With no Upper House to deal with, easy as! They’ll make sure the Contract will go to a “supporting” Corporation. Pork Barrel anyone?
      It is the sheer volume of different contracts and awards that create the complexity in the QLD Health Payroll. It is well known. There is no easy solution. It need raw variability and processing power to crunch through such huge amounts of data to calculate everyone’s proper correct remuneration.
      Of course we all can predict the spin and hyperbole that will gush from the mouths of the LNP as they try to placate the people of QLD who really don’t want their private details to given out to Private Corporate Interests, just on the LNP’s promise of utopia on a stick.

    3. Woolfe
      Posted 12/11/2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink |

      Leaving all the potential for disadvantaging staff etc aside, the concept of standardising some of those 11000 contracts strikes me as a good thing.

      However even without that, I don’t understand how it can be quite so difficult, surely there are programatical ways of reducing the load. Either by reducing the pay runs into component parts(So Sectionalise each area down, and only process a section at a time) or something.

      I certainly sympathise with the idea of just starting again. But I don’t trust the government to do it correctly then either, and whilst I think TechinBris is being overly alarmist, I do agree with him somewhat.

      • TechinBris
        Posted 13/11/2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink |

        I wasn’t being alarmist. It was written with the utter boredom of the fact how predictable Politicians have become. Especially LNP Politicians.

        • TechinBris
          Posted 13/11/2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink |

          And on that fact, I wonder if Australians all started to “Predict” what they will do, they will do otherwise and thus become easy to herd into the direction we want?

          • Woolfe
            Posted 13/11/2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink |

            Well one mans boredom is another mans alarmist, so its unlikely we’d all be able to agree on anything long enough to test the theory :-)

            • TechinBris
              Posted 13/11/2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink |

              Whether we agree to do it or not, the fun part would be sowing the seeds of paranoia into the minds of the Pollies. Just that, would be worth it. They do it to us, we should repay the favor. :{)

      • MarkD
        Posted 15/11/2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink |

        “Leaving all the potential for disadvantaging staff etc aside, the concept of standardising some of those 11000 contracts”.

        With 74K employees and a billion dollar over-run, you’d think that you could standardise 11,000 contracts down to, say, ten contracts, make the ten contracts slightly generous, give every employee a $15K tax-free bonus to accept the standardisation and end up with a very simple ten-contract payroll system.

        Taking a one-time known cost-hit to end up with a simple system going forward seems like an easy and safe win….

        …or you can design an incredibly complex system that caters for an obviously run-away crazy set of contracts, that no-one will truly understand, that will be an on-going nightmare to maintain and live with huge costs forever.

    Get our 'Best of the Week' newsletter on Fridays

    Just the most important stories, one email a week.

    Email address:

  • Most Popular Content

  • Six smart secrets for nurturing customer relationships
    [ad] Today, we are experiencing a world where behind every app, every device, and every connection, is a customer. Your customers will demand you to be where they and managing customer relationship is the key to your business’s growth. The question is where do you start? Click here to download six free whitepapers to help you connect with your customers in a whole new way.
  • Enterprise IT stories

    • WA Health told: Hire a goddamn CIO already doctor

      A state parliamentary committee has told Western Australia’s Department of Health to end four years of acting appointments and hire a permanent CIO, in the wake of news that the lack of such an executive role in the department contributed directly to the fiasco at the state’s new Fiona Stanley Hospital, much of which has revolved around poorly delivered IT systems.

    • Former whole of Qld Govt CIO Grant resigns petergrant

      High-flying IT executive Peter Grant has left his senior position in the Queensland State Government, a year after the state demoted him from the whole of government chief information officer role he had held for the second time.

    • Hills dumped $18m ERP/CRM rollout for Salesforce.com hills

      According to a blog post published by Salesforce.com today, one of Ted Pretty’s first moves upon taking up managing director role at iconic Australian brand Hills in 2012 was to halt an expensive traditional business software project and call Salesforce.com instead.

    • Dropbox opens Sydney office koalabox

      Cloud computing storage player Dropbox has announced it is opening an office in Sydney, as competition in the local enterprise cloud storage market accelerates.

    • Heartbleed, internal outages: CBA’s horror 24 hours commbankatm

      The Commonwealth Bank’s IT division has suffered something of a nightmare 24 hours, with a catastrophic internal IT outage taking down multiple systems and resulting in physical branches being offline, and the bank separately suffering public opprobrium stemming from contradictory statements it made with respect to potential vulnerabilities stemming from the Heartbleed OpenSSL bug.

    • Android in the enterprise: Three Aussie examples from Samsung androidapple

      Forget iOS and Windows. Today we present three decently sized deployments of Android in the Australian market on Samsung’s hardware, which the Korean vendor has dug up from its archives over the past several years for us after a little prompting :)

    • Businesslink cancelled Office 365 rollout cancelled

      Microsoft has been on a bit of a tear recently in Australia with its cloud-based Office 365 platform, signing up major customers such as the Queensland Government, Qantas, V8 Supercars and rental chain Mr Rental. And it’s not hard to see why, with the platform’s hybrid cloud/traditional deployment model giving customers substantial options. However, as iTNews reported last week, it hasn’t been all plain sailing for Redmond in this arena.

    • Qld Govt inks $26.5m deal for Office 365 walker

      The Queensland State Government yesterday announced it had signed a $26.5 million deal with Microsoft which will gain the state access to Microsoft’s Office 365 software and services platform. However, with the deal not covering operating system licences and not being mandatory for departments and agencies, it remains unclear what its impact will be.

    • Hospital IT booking system ‘putting lives at risk’ doctor

      A new IT booking platform at the Austin Hospital and Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne is reportedly placing the welfare of patients with serious conditions at risk.

    • Bailey quits Macquarie for non-profit COO role marc-bailey

      Long-time Macquarie University chief information officer Marc Bailey has left the educational institution to join non-profit group Intersect, which focuses on applying advanced ICT technologies to the practice of research.

  • Enterprise IT, Featured, News - Apr 16, 2014 16:49 - 0 Comments

    WA Health told: Hire a goddamn CIO already

    More In Enterprise IT

    News, Telecommunications - Apr 17, 2014 11:01 - 0 Comments

    Turnbull lies on NBN to Triple J listeners

    More In Telecommunications

    Featured, Industry, News - Apr 17, 2014 9:28 - 0 Comments

    Campaign Monitor takes US$250m from US VC

    More In Industry

    Analysis, Digital Rights - Apr 14, 2014 9:40 - 7 Comments

    NAB’s Bitcoin ban a symptom of the digital currency threat

    More In Digital Rights