The Labor Government’s much vaunted Shared Services project has become an unmitigated disaster, Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas said today.
Mr Lucas said Budget documents reveal a further blowout of $10.5 million in the total costs of the project after another blowout of $8.3 million was revealed by Treasury in a letter to the Budget and Finance Committee in September 2010.
“This means the total blowout in implementation costs is now $18.8 million, taking the latest total cost from $60 million to $78.8 million,” Mr Lucas said.
“This project has lurched from disaster to disaster with not only a massive blowout in costs, but virtually non-existent or illusory savings being achieved.
“When originally announced by the Labor Government, Shared Services was supposedly going to save $60 million per year from 2009-10 whilst only costing $60 million in on-off costs to implement.
“Last year, the Auditor-General was extremely critical of Labor’s handling of the Shared Services project and concluded that ‘achieving these revised savings targets will continue to be a significant challenge’.
“Some of the supposed savings achieved by Shared Services are illusory and a fraudulent misrepresentation of the facts. For example, Labor has claimed massive savings under the Future ICT program and including these under Shared Services.
“However, various departments have told the Budget and Finance Committee Future ICT actually increased their ICT costs even though Treasury claimed savings and reduced their budgets.
“It is now time for Labor to explain the reasons why the costs have blown out so much and the savings are virtually non-existent.”