Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Now Would It Not Be Wonderful To Have The Same Sort Of Audit Of The PCEHR Program?

This appeared a few days ago:

Turnbull asks how the NBN got that way

Former Telstra official to lead audit of NBN policy process under Labor
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.
More here:
There is also coverage here:

Coalition on hunt for Labor’s NBN secrets

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.
More here:
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!


Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...

re I suspect no release = no idea what to do!

Alternatives are:

no release = he knows exactly what he wants to do, but the report doesn't support him.

no release = it has very sensible recommendations but the Treasurer won't give him the money.

no release = there is an implied or real criticism of the previous government (e.g. Mr Abbott) and the advice, decisions and policy processes that led to the PCEHR were suspect.

These do not preclude your suggestion, and there are probably others, but the tighter and longer they hold on to the review, the greater the impression they have something to hide.

Anonymous said...

Or the views contained in the report do not paint DOH and NEHTA in a fine light, and these organisations have fought a powerful rear guard action to bury the report or change its recommendations. I can imagine the Secretary would have been happy with any criticism of her baby ...

Anonymous said...

Dear 3/11/2014 09:35:00 PM please explain ... why you think the Secretary would have been happy with any criticism of her baby ...

Anonymous said...

Perhaps that was an ironic comment about the Secretary?

Anonymous said...

or a typo? can -> can't