NSW Govt implements new IT project assurance framework


news The New South Wales Government has implemented a new set of procedures as part of its plan to monitor projects more closely and protect departments from issues such as runaway budgets.

The ICT Assurance Framework (IAF), sets out the review process and other assurance requirements for ICT projects including mandatory due diligence reviews, “health checks”, “deep dive” reviews and project status reporting, according to information published by the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI).

It also specifies that all NSW Government ICT investment decisions must demonstrate that certain whole-of-government strategic imperatives and investment principles have been applied in the project.

Alignment with this checklist will be monitored as part of the IAF process.

The strategic imperatives include complying with relevant whole-of-government ICT policies and standards across areas such as information management, data centre reform, information security and enterprise architecture

The projects must provide for online and mobile access and the sharing of data across government and externally, where appropriate.

They must also ensure collaboration and re-use of resources by demonstrating that there are no existing ICT solutions that can be utilised instead of building new ones.

Further, they must be standardised and show interoperability of technologies and solutions, as well as demonstrate their “better value” to government and/or citizens over the life of the investment.

Regarding the investment principles, the DFSI stipulates that business cases must be developed with “sufficient resourcing given the complexity of the project” – including via seed funding, if necessary.

Projects must also be modular, with individual modules being up to a maximum of two years’ duration to enable them to demonstrate benefits for discrete investment.

Additionally, all business cases must include technology and business change costs, along with asset, development and other costs.

“Agencies must not release full funding to projects until set up for success,” the DFSI stipulates.

Implementation of the IAF will kick off on 5 September 2016, focusing on “high profile, high risk” projects, according to the department.