The litany of end-user complaints that have dogged a Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR) system upgrade will finally face the harsh light of a formal investigation.
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has announced an audit of IT systems at the DEWR including the beleaguered EA3000 Job Network application.
Senior director of the ANAO performance audit services group, David Rowlands, said the audit would take about 11 months to complete before it reaches Parliament in late 2004.
Rowlands said an audit of IT at DEWR, specifically the EA3000, would provide a critical analysis of the system but it might be too large for a single audit.
As a result, the investigation could involve two audits and Rowland said it would be tackled in “chewable chunks”. He said evidence would be sought to establish the efficiency and effectiveness of the new system including “what the perceived architecture and design problems were alleged to be”.
Developed by the DEWR as part of the employment services contract (ESC) transition from ESC2 to ESC3, the EA3000 went live on July 1. The application came under fire from users who were required to undertake multi-million dollar IT-compliance upgrades. User complaints included being forced to spend millions on the upgrade to comply, architecture and design problems.
He said the Auditor General also received a request from the Shadow Minister for Employment Services and Training, Anthony Albanese, to examine the ESC3 implementation and tender process.
DEWR employment systems general manager, Anthony Parsons, was unavailable for comment but a departmental spokesperson said EA3000 was completing 3.8 million transactions a day.