The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.
“This project was to set up shared services across three important, central departments, namely the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC), Treasury and the State Services Commission (SSC). Eighteen months later, the Auditor-General’s Office discovered the following:
- Not enough definition and planning
- Getting to the start date was more important than getting it right
- Weaknesses in governance and management
- The original consultant employed to be the Establishment Director left midway through the change process for some unknown reason
- Set up elements were not done well
- There were incomplete measures for monitoring and reporting on progress .
“In fact, the process could not have been more poorly handled,” said Maryan Street.
“This smacks of incompetent Ministers having an idea which may well be worthwhile, but no idea about how it should be executed. Never mind the process or the results, just get to the start date.”
“The cost of this debacle has been the loss of good, knowledgeable staff who have left because of a lack of consultation, good governance and planning. The Prime Minister, the Finance Minister and the State Services Minister are all responsible for this. The only way they can rescue this project is to ensure that all the Auditor-General’s recommendations are followed to the letter,” said Maryan Street.