This report contains the findings from my Office’s performance audit of the management of a project to replace PathWest’s Laboratory Information System (LIS).
The size and scale of WA Health means that information communication technology (ICT) projects are a core activity in enabling delivery of health services across the State. However, major ICT projects are rarely simple and successful delivery remains challenging, perhaps more so in WA Health with its tiered governance and distributed management accountability.
This is not the first audit into ICT project governance and delivery that my office has undertaken, and the recurring nature of some of the findings is disappointing. However, there are some encouraging signs. As well as taking action themselves when alerted to problems, the Department of Health asked me to consider auditing the project. That shows a willingness to invite and learn from external scrutiny and indicates a mature approach to continually improving governance.
The report includes important learnings about the LIS project, but I have also made recommendations about tailoring governance to meet project risk in a distributed system. These are relevant across WA Health and for other entities embarking on major ICT projects across the public sector.