This blog is totally independent and has only three major objectives.
The first is to inform readers of news and happenings in the e-Health domain, both here in Australia and world-wide.
The second is to provide commentary on e-Health in Australia and to foster improvement where I can.
The third is to encourage discussion of the matters raised in the blog so hopefully readers can get a balanced view of what is really happening and what successes are being achieved.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Now Would It Not Be Wonderful To Have The Same Sort Of Audit Of The PCEHR Program?
The Coalition will deepen its probe of the National Broadband Network, with the government announcing the appointment of a former Telstra official to investigate the public policy process behind Labor’s NBN.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the appointment of Bill Scales to perform the audit. Scales was previously in charge of regulatory matters at Telstra as group managing director for regulatory and corporate affairs.
Scales also served as chairman of the Industry Commission and secretary of Victoria’s department of premier and cabinet.
“The independent audit will investigate the advice, decisions and policy processes that led to the National Broadband Network policy and establishment of NBN Co,” Turnbull announced today.
THE federal government has commissioned its fifth audit of the National Broadband Network and appointed the former head of the Productivity Commission, Bill Scales, to oversee an independent investigation into the process that led to the formation of Labor’s NBN policy.
The genesis of the policy has been steeped in controversy since it was originally devised in March 2007 by then opposition leader Kevin Rudd as a $4.7 billion publicly funded subsidy to build a fibre-to-the-node network.
In 2008, as the world’s economy was rocked by the global financial crisis, the original proposal was scrapped and replaced with a $43bn proposal for the government to go it alone and build a fibre-to-the-premise network. At the time the official reason given by an expert panel overseeing bids for the $4.7bn subsidy was that none of the bids presented “value for money”.
But sources say the real reason the process collapsed was that the nation’s dominant telco, Telstra, submitted a noncompliant bid.
It has been rumoured for years that the complex decision to approve the shift to a fibre-to-the-premise NBN was done on the fly when former communications minister Stephen Conroy caught a VIP plane with Mr Rudd to brief him on the shift to the new policy.
Now the Coalition wants to get to the bottom of exactly what led to that process and has appointed Mr Scales, a former Telstra executive, to investigate the advice, decisions and policy processes that led to the NBN policy and establishment of NBN Co.
The audit will cover the period from April 2008 (when the government issued a request for proposals for a national broadband network solution) to May 2010 (when the $25 million implementation study for the NBN was released).
The government has asked Mr Scales to investigate the reasons why NBN Co was given a mandate to create a network using the fibre-to-the-premise technology and why the network was expanded to cover 93 per cent of premises with the technology.
What a great idea if we had a similar Audit for the PCEHR Program. As far as I know the PCEHR appeared out of a ‘clear blue sky’ with neither NEHTA or DoHA having ever talked of it, or similar, until it appeared - almost fully formed - from the NHHR Commission in 2009.
Similarly would be fun to get some of the other audits Mr Turnbull is conducting on the NBN for the PCEHR like a real and credible cost-benefit study!
Sadly all we have is a PCEHR Review which, if it had actually a robust plan, would have been trumpeted by the Minister. I suspect no release = no idea what to do!