03/07/2014 - 14:10

Fiona Stanley complexity paved way for $6m bungle

03/07/2014 - 14:10


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Fiona Stanley complexity paved way for $6m bungle
Fiona Stanley Hospital

The auditor general has indicated the complex Fiona Stanley project could have been a breeding ground for mismanaged taxpayer funds and has issued a warning that governance needs to be improved.

Earlier this week, Colin Murphy revealed that one segment of IT planned for the $2 billion hospital was shut down after the Health Department (WA Health) had already spent $6 million on its development.

Today, Mr Murphy said the size and complexity of the project should have served as a warning of the potential for failures in the development of IT services at the Murdoch site.

“The IT environment - with so many different players - has just had too many silos, too many bits managing it,” he said.

“It’s big and its complex, so that’s a warning sign.”

Mr Murphy said WA Health had never created a business case for the identity access management system, which was intended to give staff access to computer systems and physical buildings.

Furthermore, there was no one person leading the project, which he said led to $6 million being wasted before its development was wound up.

“It didn’t have a champion. Everybody wanted it and everybody expected it, but it didn’t have that champion so they didn’t actually see the risk,” Mr Murphy said during the Australian Information Industry Association event in Perth today.

“It needed to have that sole point of project management with an executive sponsor and champion, and with that it could have done a whole lot better.

“Certainly, with an executive sponsor, when things started to go wrong they would have squawked and the director general would have had a much earlier call on what was happening.”

Four different people held the role of chief information officer at WA Health during the life of the identity access management project from 2010 to 2014.

Mr Murphy was prompted to investigate the identity access management system by the acting director general of health Bryant Stokes, who Mr Murphy said had become concerned about the project.

Mr Murphy told an audience at today’s event that government agencies often failed to have a sole point of accountability for IT projects, which jeopardised their success.

He also said that chief executives were reluctant to become involved in IT projects due to their complexity.


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