Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas said today there had been a $68 million blowout in the implementation costs of the Shared Services Project and it was now an ‘unmitigated disaster’.
In evidence to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee Treasury officers Brett Rowse and Damian Bourke confirmed implementation costs were now $128 million and not the $60 million originally approved.
“When the Shared Services project was originally approved in 2007/08 implementation costs were approved at $60 million and there were going to be annual savings of $60 million a year from last year and continuing into the future,” Mr Lucas said.
“The Auditor-General has reported previously that actual savings were nowhere near the claimed level of $60 million per year.
“It also appears that the Labor is attempting to fudge the claimed savings figure by including changes such as more efficient use of warehouses.
“Labor has also claimed annual savings of about $27 million per year from the Future ICT project when agencies like Health have told the Budget and Finance Committee their ICT costs had actually increased (not decreased) due to the Future ICT Project.
“Shared Services initiatives in other states like Queensland have already been shelved due to serious cost/saving problems.
“It is now time for Labor to admit this is a disaster and review whether or not it should be proceeded with under the current guidelines.
“At the very least there needs to be significant change to the proposal including tighter controls to prevent these massive blowouts.
“This is yet another example of the slack financial management of this Labor Government, which means tens of millions of taxpayers’ dollars are wasted whilst schools and hospitals struggle for funding.”