Costly, under-featured MyGov is just fine, says Oz national auditor

www.theregister.co.uk | 6/27/2017 | Staff
ali11 (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://regmedia.co.uk/2016/07/20/australian_money_shutterstock.jpg?x=1200&y=794

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has rubber-stamped the government's MyGov portal, in spite of cost-overruns and a lack of performance metrics.

The cost blowout was impressive: from an original four-year budget of AU$29.7 million (approved by the previous government in 2012), the project actually spent nearly triple that at AU$86.7 million.

ANAO - Report - MyGov - Forecast - Number

The ANAO's report says MyGov received “nearly double the forecast” number of user accounts, and that led to a fourfold increase in operational expenditure, from $8.5 million in 2012-2013 to $37.3 million in 2015-2016.

As noted by consultant Justin Warren, that suggests MyGov doesn't scale with rising load.

Expenses - Report - Costs - Infrastructure - MyGov

Operational expenses, the report said, also reflected the costs of a high-availability infrastructure added to MyGov in 2015 to maintain performance “especially during peak demand periods” (the report doesn't explain why a system designed to deliver government services wasn't designed as high availability in the first place. Maybe it's cultural - the HPE storage design at the ATO emphasised speed over reliability).

The report can't explain whether the expert money was worth it, because: “Performance metrics to enable the quantification of actual savings in the six areas identified in the business case were not developed.”

Areas - Reduction - Rework - Verification - User

Those six areas were a reduction in rework or verification of user details; an increase in transactions completed online; a reduction in in-person contacts with citizens; a reduction in incorrectly-addressed mail; fewer password resets; and a reduction in postage costs.

In the absence of such metrics, it is not possible to determine whether the expected savings have been realised in all six areas.

Project

If the project...
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