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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.
If the project...
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