Qld Treasury terminates failed IT overhaul

news Queensland’s Labor government has been caught on the wrong foot again with another failed IT project, with the Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC) revealing it had spent $15 million on dumped finance platforms, recently terminating a $7.5 million contract with supplier Temenos and throwing away an equivalent amount on internal work.

Shadow Minister for Information and Communication Technology Ros Bates said in a statement that the latest gaffe proved that Labor’s IT disasters were not just confined to Queensland Health. “This latest costly IT gaffe comes on top of the recent revelation Labor has wasted $46 million on its inter-departmental e-mail system costing $23,000 per user, as well as the problem-plagued OneSchool roll-out and the long running health payroll debacle costing more than $220 million to fix,” Bates said.

Bates had previously slammed the Bligh Government’s IDES (Identity, Directory and Email Services) program as a key example of Labor’s long-term waste and mismanagement. In December, it was revealed that $46 million had been spent on the whole of government e-mail platform, despite only 2,000 people signing up to use the system. In July 2011, the Queensland Opposition had accused the incumbent Bligh Labor State Government of “hitting the panic button” in a delayed attempt to catch up on its ICT policy.

Among a series of IT disasters that have rocked the State Government, the most public has been the Queensland Health payroll debacle that had thousands of public sector health workers left without pay after the department’s upgrade to a new SAP-based payroll system was messed up.

Highlighting the “incompetence of the tired, 20 year old Labor Government”, Bates said that major IT projects have drained Queensland taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars more than necessary. “Labor just can’t get IT basics right and Queensland taxpayers are paying the price,” said Bates.

Giving details, Bates said that the QTC’s 2008/09 Annual Report stated that the Temenos banking system had been purchased in April 2009, and had been scheduled to be implemented by July 2010. The 2009/2010 Annual Report stated that the new system was now scheduled to be launched in 2011.

“Backtrack 12 months and the QTC 2010/11 annual report makes no mention of Temenos. Not a word. It’s been dumped and along with it, roundly $15 million of taxpayers’ money,” Bates said. She mentioned that QTC allegedly plans to develop its own system—a move that is meant to be a last resort according to the Queensland government’s Chief Information Office policy platform. She accused Andrew Fraser of being Australia’s worst Treasurer, as he has tried to justify the Bligh government’s $15 million waster as an effort to “ensure a value-for-money outcome”.

Bates called on Simon Finn, the IT Minister, to own up and explain the latest IT scandal. “It’s time for change. It’s time to get Queensland back on track,” Bates said.

Image credit: Hans Gerwitz, Creative Commons


  1. Wow, if they ever wrote up a documen explaining how these project went so far off trac kI would love to read them, if only so that I NEVER make the same mistakes.

    I doubt any such document will ever be written or made public thou.

    • If the Department did ever decide to write such a document (after months of consultation with focus groups and committees), they would:
      -Put the writing of the document out to tender
      -Award the tender to IBM or CSC
      -Not specify in the contract what the document was actually meant to be about, BUT that it had to be written on newly coded word processing software and OS, and that the hardware had to be built by hand in outback Queensland by left handed people to provide jobs.
      -Just as the document was about to be completed (since they were given no guidance, the document turned out to be a book on the challenges of building hardware in outback Queensland), the Department would tell the outsourcer what it was actually meant to be about.
      -Outsourcer tells the Department “That wasn’t in the contract”.
      -Department cancels the project.

    • These documents exist, and are public. They’re called audit reports. There have been a stack of them published about the Qld, Victorian and WA Governments when it comes to failed IT projects recently. Would you like to see my collection …? ;)

      • Links to these reports, or a pointer to where they can be found would be much appreciated!

        • Dear Alex
          When the government wheels filing cabinets through parliament on a daily basis so that they can have embarrassing reports filed confidential, I feel disturbed that the labor party’s not interested in learning from its numerous mistakes……
          Can you please clarify whether you are bing sarcastic about the reports being difficult to locate?

          When the labor government tried to classify the wivenhoe operating manual as ” top secret” after the floods, I feel disturbed that the labor party has been “taking the piss” for a little too long ……. Perhaps it’s time to end the union death grip?

  2. Bligh and labor fails?? not the first time…… what about Goss kyboshing the wolfdene dam, and then increassing brisbane’s water supply by biting into the wivenhoe dam flood compartment which casued billions of dollars of flood damage in brisbane….. ? think that deserves a “Fail” in governance?

  3. This is what happens when you have upper-level public service workers who have no idea what they are doing running these projects. It has happened in Queensland and also in Victoria – look at the myki public transport ticketing system and the police database projects. These frakking idiots just keep on throwing our money down the drain, almost 1 billion for the myki project – its just a ticketing system, there is no way in the world it should cost anything near that.

Comments are closed.