Page 2023 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 28 June 2023
Teachers in our schools right now are also being challenged, as I discussed yesterday, with issues around the long tail of COVID, as well as the flu season, impacting teacher engagement and presence at schools and in those environments, but we are working very closely with our schools to overcome that. I want to acknowledge that, even through these difficult circumstances, teachers are doing their very best to provide a great education for young people.
Government—human resources and information management system
MR CAIN: My question is to the Special Minister of State. I refer to the front page of today’s Canberra Times, which is headlined, “$76m blown on ‘deficient’ HR project”. You are quoted as saying:
… upgrades to the existing HR and payroll systems were not properly scoped at the beginning, which is the approach we are now pursuing at less risk and cost to the territory…
Minister, when did you come to this realisation?
MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. This is a long-running project that has been going since 27 to create a new human resource management system for the territory. We have now been informed that at the time the business case came forward, the option of upgrading the existing HR Chris21 systems was discounted as an option; so, a different solution, which was a brand new solution, was preferred at that time.
We have come to understand that issue as a result of several reviews, both technical and non-technical, that have been undertaken since the program pause started on the HRIMS project following the issues with deliverables of the program since December 2020. Now that we understand that that option is a preferrable option, the government has made a decision through the budget process to now pursue the existing upgrades.
Mr Cain: On a point of order. My question is simple: when did the minister realise this project was not properly scoped? When did he realise that?
MADAM SPEAKER: The answer was in order. Mr Steel, you have 30 seconds left, if you want.
MR STEEL: In December 2022, informed by independent technical and non-technical assessments of the program, options to address the government’s immediate payroll and HR requirements were reconsidered.
MR CAIN: Minister, what actions have you taken personally to reel in this project, which has seen 23 contractors since 2016, since being made aware of this deficiency?
MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. I have been Special Minister of State since November 2020, and at that time we became aware that the first program deliverable was going to be unachievable by the delivery date of December 2020.
At that point we made changes to the governance of the project, with the Chief Digital