blog I often think that things couldn’t possibly get any worse for State Government IT operations in Australia, considering that major audit reports in both Victoria and Queensland have found over the past year that the states are broadly incapable of delivering IT services and major IT projects to their departments and agencies. But every time I think that, things do get worse. Today’s new nightmare is a bungled student management system in Victoria’s TAFE colleges. The Age tells us (we recommend you click here for the full article):
“The cost of the computer system, commissioned under the previous Labor government to manage student records, has ballooned to about $100 million, well over its estimated cost of $65 million.”
This sort of thing — a mere $35 million blowout in a key student management system in TAFE colleges across Victoria; nothing, really, when compared to a billion-dollar blowout such as happened in the Queensland Health payroll disaster — just reinforces my view that it is currently the norm in state government IT around Australia that IT projects of any kind fail. It is absolutely the norm that these projects go over budget, over-time and fail. It would be highly abnormal if a State Government was able to actually deliver a major IT project — an extreme outlier. This is the situation which Australia is currently facing in State Government IT. We must assume that any major project will fail and go massively over-budget, and plan accordingly. Assuming anything else is simply not rational.
But hell … do we really need to actually get data on student enrolments in Victorian TAFEs? You know, information on what courses they’re in, when they’re graduating, that kind of thing? It’s not really that important to the functioning of the TAFE system, is it? Right? Right??