SSC seeks panel to assess ICT project risks

The agencies are having trouble finding people with the requisite knowledge and experience to undertake the evaluations

Experts are being called for by The State Services Commission to help government agencies assess the risks of major ICT projects.

However, the agencies are having trouble finding people with the requisite knowledge and experience to undertake the evaluations, Computerworld has been told.

In 2001, the SSC implemented a two-stage assessment requirement, partly as a result of the massive failure of the Police Incis integrated criminal intelligence project. According to a 2001 Cabinet Office circular, agencies should seek approval at an early stage, on the basis of indicative costs and benefits, for developing detailed scoping and finalisation of the costs and benefits of planned projects. Subsequently, there should also be “final consideration of the business case, based on more fully developed costs and benefits.”

Major projects, those requiring such evaluation, are defined as those valued at greater than $15 million or which present a special risk to the government, or projects specifically identified by a minister. These evaluations should be based on quantified costs and benefits, Cabinet has said.

However, the SSC says some departments are having trouble finding quality providers of quantitative risk-analysis services, according to SSC spokesman Jason Ryan.

“Our own experience is that the number of New Zealand consultants experienced in QRA of costs and schedule in projects is not large,” he says.

The Commission has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking people with suitable expertise to build up a panel from which consultants can be retained to undertake project assessments.

The number of people on the panel is not fixed, says Ryan. It will depend on the number of suitable responses to the RFP.

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