Sunday, July 02, 2017
Sunlight Is A Great Disinfectant - It Helps Get To The Truth And Stops Exaggeration And Deception!
This week we have seen the release of a couple of reports from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) and this, as far as I am concerned has been all to the good!
First we had the release of a report on the controversial government portal myGOV.
There is a report of the findings here:
Benefits of service are hard to quantify however, audit finds
27 June, 2017 13:38
The government’s myGov digital service portal has been the subject of a largely positive audit, despite the project costing more than estimated and its benefits being difficult to quantify.
myGov launched in May 2013 and can be linked to a range of online services offered by government agencies, including the Australian Taxation Office, Centrelink, Medicare, the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the government’s My Health Record system.
The Australian National Audit Office today released its report on the service.
The system is operated and hosted by the Department of Human Services (DHS), while the government’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) oversees service strategy, policy and user experience.
The implementation of myGov “has been largely effective,” the audit concludes. By the end of the four-year project there were some 9.5 million users registered on the system, compared to a business case forecast of 5.1 million, the report notes.
However, the audit also offers details of a budget blowout for the system. The initial budget based on the myGov business case was $29.7 million for 2012–13 to 2015–16. Actual expenditure to June 2016 reached $86.7 million.
Higher than expected usage helped drive up operating costs, the audit states: “Departmental records indicate that the increase in operating expenses over the four years of the project — from $8.5 million in 2012–13 to $37.3 million in 2015–16 — was primarily driven by the costs associated with supporting the large number of user accounts (nearly double the forecast) and the improved high-availability infrastructure,” the ANAO report states.
A key weakness in the project has been the difficulty of assessing savings achieved by government organisations that are using the system, the ANAO found.
More details are found here and the direct link to the report is in the third paragraph.
Second we had the ANAO release its report on the National Cancer Registry
By Allie Coyne on Jun 29, 2017 11:38AM
The federal Health department has no plan outlining how its supplier Telstra will manage the privacy and security of the new national cancer screening register, one year on from the contract being signed, the national auditor has found.
The Australian National Audit Office undertook an audit into Health's procurement of services for the operation of the register, which was last May awarded to Telstra for $220 million over five years.
It found that while Health had broadly complied with its obligations under Commonwealth and internal department procurement rules, additional costs as well as security and privacy concerns have resulted from key objectives not being met.
The department revealed in February that the register would not go live as planned in March, and was more likely to become operational in December due to a complex data migration process.
The ANAO today revealed this missed deadline - attributed to the "complexity of assimilating and migrating data from eight state and territory cancer registers into one register" - had resulted in extra costs for the Health department.
It has been forced to pay pathology providers an extra $16.5 million to continue providing pap smear testing until the new human papillomavirus (HPV) test for cervical cancer - which the new register will facilitate - can begin, the audit office reported.
The savings the national cancer screening register was meant to provide will therefore "be delayed", the ANAO wrote.
"Ongoing monitoring of progress and strong proactive management of the contract will be required if value for money is to be achieved in the establishment of the [register]," it said.
However, more concerningly, the audit office found that - a year after the contract between Health and Telstra was signed - the department still has no official documents outlining how data and privacy issues will be managed.
The ANAO found that none of those requirements had been met as of March this year.
A data protection plan - a "key document to manage issues relating to privacy of data" - was submitted by Telstra within the 40-day timeframe and later revised, the audit office said, but it was formally rejected in December last year on the grounds that it didn't fully comply with the contract requirements.
The Health department has still not accepted a data protection plan from Telstra, it said.
Health is uncertain whether Telstra has signed deed of confidentiality and privacy documents with its subcontractors, because a register that monitors this compliance is incomplete, the audit office said.
More here with a direct link to the report in the second paragraph:
All this led me to wonder about the myHR which is now 5 years old just yesterday.
A visit to the ANAO web site unearthed this undated document.
Entity: Department of Health; National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA)
This audit would examine the implementation of the revised digital health records system, known as myHealth Record, which received an additional $485 million in the 2015–16 Budget; and whether a sound strategy has been developed to measure and realise the claimed benefits of this system—savings of $2.5 billion per year by 2025, with an additional $1.6 billion in annual savings delivered to the states. The audit would also examine the role of the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) as the lead organisation supporting a national vision for digital health for Australia.
The successful implementation of digital health records offers scope to improve the efficiency of health care delivery and patient safety. It is also part of the Government’s digital first policy, aimed at making government more efficient and responsive to citizens’ needs.
Here is the link:
All I can say is we need to bring it on. Five years and a billion or so dollars is long enough to go without a hard look!
Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Sunday, July 02, 2017