Deloitte has won a $1.5 million contract to make sure the government’s second attempt to develop a tech platform to manage apprenticeships goes better than the first go, which saw nearly $20 million lost before the project was scrapped.
The Department of Education, Skills and Employment awarded the consulting giant a $1,520,695 contract, running for nearly seven months from early December, to kick off work on a new apprenticeships data management system.
This project was allocated $91.6 million over four years in the October federal budget, along with $1.8 million in ongoing funding, and will eventually replace the ageing and outdated Training and Youth Internet Management System, which is more than two decades old.
It’s not the first time the government has tried to replace this ageing platform, with previous plans to have a new system up and running by mid-2016. But this task proved to be more difficult than expected, and after significant delays and $19.6 million spent, it was cancelled in 2018, and the government continued to rely on the legacy platform.
Deloitte has been brought in on the early stages of the second go to provide “solutions management for modern apprenticeships IT system project”, an early scoping project running to the end of June next year to map a way forward for the new platform.
For the first attempt, the Education department selected NEC in 2015 to develop the platform. But the Japanese tech giant soon advised that this would take “significantly longer” than first thought. Two years later, most of the near-$20 million budget had been spent but the platform was still “nowhere near complete”.
A subsequent government review found systemic project weaknesses, with the department opting to drop the project entirely “rather than continue to invest in a system which ultimately may not have met the current business needs or future requirements of Australia’s apprenticeship and traineeship system”.
A PwC review also found “weaknesses in practices across project governance, project management, contract and stakeholder management”.
The government officially ditched the new platform in 2018, and has been using the old system, which was viewed as outdated in 2013, in the two years since.
The education department later said that NEC had “initially underestimated the complexity of the AAMS system”. NEC was paid $10.5 million for its work on the doomed project.
Following the budget, the government is now having another go, with nearly four times as much funding and a significantly longer timeframe, with four years allocated to get the platform up and running.
Deloitte is closely involved with a number of government tech projects. The consulting giant is leading development of an updated version of the myGov platform and has been paid nearly $30 million for work developing a beta version of it so far.
The contract for the second stage of work on the myGov project, accounting for the bulk of the work, is expected to be revealed in the next fortnight, with Deloitte a front-runner to continue to be involved.
Deloitte also landed a $1 million contract this year to build a new platform for the delivery of the research and development tax incentive, with work to finish on this at the end of the week.