Surprise! Govt botched NDIS IT systems



blog A government department botching the delivery of a new IT platform? Shocking, I know. This has never, ever happened before. Unbelievable. Today’s public sector IT blunder comes from the pages of Intermedium, which tells us that the National Disability Insurance Scheme developed by the previous Government has been hamstrung by the poor quality of the IT systems put together to support it. The site reports (we recommend you click through for the full gory details):

“A review into the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has found “a large number of significant problems” fronted by an ineffective ICT system … it is limiting ‘the effectiveness of the Actuarial Unit and the flexibility of the Agency to respond to the experience of the planning staff’.”

We’ve seen this same situation time and time again in Federal and State Government departments and agencies all around Australia. So few politicians or bureaucrats seem to realise that the mechanism through which their new policies will be delivered will be IT systems — customer relationship management systems, enterprise resource planning systems, payment systems, web sites and so on. And these systems need to be developed with very strong project management and governance controls around them, or else they will go off the rails very quickly and hamstring the wider project they are delivering, as well as costing a lot of time and money to fix. I don’t know how many times government auditors need to deliver this same message. Because it’s clearly not getting through.


  1. Shock horror!,

    The program was accelerated by 1 year and lost its preparation time, and people doubt that things will go wrong? If it was running to schedule it would be an outstanding effort by the company.

  2. And so … quietly going about its business … Disability SA has implemented an innovative and cost-effective solution for matching and processing person’s with a disability, service providers and funding providers. It is a web-based interactive portal that works well, is easy to use and is integrated into back-end systems.

    How was it done? Surprise! By using 21st century IT solutions and more agile approaches … leveraging a mature software-as-a-service platform …

    What is it I keep saying? (1) Cloudy is as cloudy does – yes really! (2) It takes two to tango – agencies need to change the way they think and act to leverage the power of cloud services. (3) Agile thinking + cloud services platforms = innovation and productivity.

    Folks in Canberra just need to have a long cold shower and wake up to themselves …

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