Computing costs

Thanks to auditor general John Doyle and the Times Colonist's Rob Shaw, British Columbians now know two of the government's major information technology projects have cost overruns totalling more than $145 million. One involves electronic heath records. The other, the management of case files at social service ministries. But British Columbia isn't the only jurisdiction with such problems.

For example, the American federal government has flagged 29 percent of its information technology projects as being poorly managed. But the difference is their lawmakers are trying to do something about that systemic mismanagement. Delaware Senator Thomas Carper has introduced a bill that would require a business case be prepared for each information technology project. And it would see the creation of a Website to monitor their cost, schedule and performance. It's a laudable proposal and one I think the provincial government should consider if it wants to guard against this kind of taxpayer waste.

1 Comment

This is the tip of a VERY large iceberg.

Just speak to anyone in IT in Victoria and they'll tell you horror stories of cost overruns, projects extended year after year, no real supervision of contractor billing habits... bah the list goes on and on.

Fiscal management of IT projects is not a mystery. The BC Government has known how to do it for years, but refuses to see it through.

Aside from the numerous project fiascoes at MoH, my personal favourite for contract malfeasance is the workstation contract managed out of WTS / Labour and Citizen Services. It will take a long time before government tops the mis-management in those contracts.

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