A curious programmer

Government IT incompetence?

August 30th, 2015 by Derrick

Why does government IT systems cost so much? It is tax payers’ money that they consistently over spend. Let us not forget that the Government is paid by the tax payer.

A few very expensive examples.

“NSW Auditor-General Grant Hehir, who was scathing in his assessment of the LMBR last year, believes that the project will hit $573m by June 30, with key components undelivered. The program has cost an extra $145m or more than $530m to June last year.”
“LMBR was meant to replace legacy finance, human resources, payroll and student administration systems at the department, TAFEs and 2230 public schools with software primarily from German giant SAP.”
The Australian – Apr 28, 2015

“Northern Sydney Council of P & C Associations president David Hope said: “I am very concerned that there is potential for the final cost of the LMBR to be up to $1 billion, a blowout of perhaps $500 million, unless effective remedial measures are taken.”
The Daily Telegraph – Aug 5, 2015

“IBM tries to block legal action over Queensland Health payroll disaster”
“The state launched legal action to recoup some of the $1.2 billion it cost to fix the bungle.”
ABC Online‎ – August 25, 2015

Perhaps the answer to cost blow outs lies in this statement:
“IBM has blamed the problems that emerged with the Queensland government’s $1.2 billion health payroll system on the health department which constantly changed the scope of the project.”
Read more:
If we look at the USA the picture is not any better.
“On October 2, 2013, the Obamacare website had 70,000 page views but only 5,000 were unique visitors, and 48% of registrations failed. The large number of page views may have been the result of visitors repeatedly hitting the “refresh” button due to long waiting times.”
Read more: 

“the Office of Inspector General released a report finding that the total cost of the HealthCare.gov website had reached $1.7 billion. On July 30, 2014, the Government Accountability Office released a non-partisan study that concluded the administration did not provide “effective planning or oversight practices” in developing the HealthCare.gov website.”
Read more:

Again, government incompetence surfaces.
“But the story of a group called the Marketplace Lite team has yet to be told. These are the designers and developers, mostly younger than those in the Tech Surge, who stuck around after others had left.”
“Marketplace Lite, or “MPL” as they came to be known, devoted months to rewriting Healthcare.gov functions in full, working as a startup within the government and replacing contractor-made apps with ones costing one-fiftieth of the price. And when, nearly a year after the initial launch of Healthcare.gov, the website’s second open-enrollment proved much healthier than its first, it was the MPL team who celebrated.”
Read more: 

“The more I look at the code and the more I read about Healthcare.gov, the more I’m convinced it’s not the architecture or tech stack, it’s the scope of the requirements. Which is to say, they started out in good shape but tried to do too much, too soon. There are many unoptimized files left on the site, which they seem to have rushed out the door.”
Read more:

With Obamacare, ‘scope of requirements‘ also surfaces.
Is it that the Big Business bureaucrats don’t say no to Government bureaucrats unrealistic requirements? Or is it something more? What does it take to know what are realistic expectations of a system?

What can we as tax payers do about this? I am sure that there are lots more disasters, but these are the billion dollar ones.

Please leave a comment below and tell me what you think….

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