11 April 2001 Media Statement
Government monitoring of major IT projects
The Government has strengthened the monitoring regime for major departmental information technology (IT) projects as
part of the response to the INCIS project.
State Services Minister Trevor Mallard said the Government wanted to reduce the risk of major IT projects over-running
budgets and deadlines, and where there is the potential for over running budgets, get early warning.
The changes were in line with the recommendations of Dr Francis Small¡¦s review of the INCIS project.
¡§The Government is keen to draw on all the lessons of INCIS,¡¨ Trevor Mallard said.
Under the new regime, departments that are managing major IT projects will have to:
„h Establish an agreed programme with the State Services Commission and Treasury (the monitoring agencies) for reporting
regularly on risk, including risks in financing, capability, technology, and in effects on the business of the
„h Ensure that major projects are consistent with the department¡¦s information systems strategic plan and are supported
by a business case and comprehensive project plan.
„h Satisfy monitoring agencies that a suitable risk management process is in place, and that there are contingency plans
to deal with emerging risks.
„h Report on any significant change to the criteria, governance, and structures of a major project, or any change in
functionality, and test change against business cases.
Trevor Mallard said such practises were already in place for many major IT projects.
"Indeed, the requirements are good business practice. The aim now is to standardise the requirements and support
departments in meeting them.
"No organisation, in either the public or the private sector, can ever guarantee that major IT projects will be
completed perfectly. Risk is implicit in any capital project. But our aim is to better support departments that are
running projects, and provide the means to anticipate problems, while allowing them to manage their own business and
remain accountable for their decisions.
¡§Under the updated regime, the risks of any project are more likely to be explicit. As well, the regime should give
Ministers and chief executives a clear picture of the potential problems before they proceed and as the project
unfolds,¡¨ Trevor Mallard said.