As government looks to 'three-sector solutions' to tackle wicked problems in public policy, two of those sectors know well the need for change. Not-fo
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Home Features Project managers fight for seat at the table of Centrelink’s $1B overhaul
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PEOPLEGrant Hehir, Roxanne Kelley
DEPARTMENTSAustralian Bureau of Statistics, Department of Defence, Department of Human Services, Centrelink, Infrastructure Australia
TAGS Australian National Audit Office, Department of Defence, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Department of Finance, Project management, Program management, Project governance, Australian Institute of Project Management, Major Project Authority
Project teams, instead of governance, are being wrongly blamed for billions wasted in cost blow-outs and projects that don’t deliver. Project managers are lobbying to fix the problem before the Commonwealth embarks on a $1 billion Centrelink ICT upgrade.
Project managers have called on government to include their profession in project governance from conception of benefits through to realisation, just as the Commonwealth embarks on an $1 billion Centrelink ICT upgrade and $250 million at Australian Bureau of Statistics.
This follows a series of damning assessments showing overspend and under-delivery in public ICT and infrastructure projects.
Yvonne Butler, the newly appointed CEO of the Australian Institute of Project Management, says public project governance stands between a failed project and a successful one. Decision makers are letting a false impression of their own expertise stand in the way of overdue reforms.
She has called on Australian governments to follow the recent UK push to educate senior civil servants in how to deliver large complex projects on time and on budget, and give project managers a seat at the table of the Major Project Authority providing independent assurance of public projects.
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Harley Dennett is editor at The Mandarin based in Canberra. He's held communications roles in the New South Wales public sector and Defence, and reported for titles including Crikey and the Star Observer.
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