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Howard Government fails internet service audit test.

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MEDIA STATEMENT Senator Kate Lundy Shadow Minister for Sport and Recreation, the Arts and Information Technology Senator for the Australian Capital Territory

Wednesday, 3 March 2004

Howard Government fails internet service audit test

Once again, the Howard Government has failed to get Government services and website up to scratch. The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has found that “monitoring and evaluation of internet services by agencies were not adequate.” (ANAO Performance Audit: Quality Internet Services for Government Clients - Monitoring and Evaluation by Government Agencies, Audit Report No.30 2003/04)

The Audit Report investigated five agencies as well as the National Office of Information Economy (NOIE), the agency charged with implementing government online policy.

Those investigated were the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ADIC), the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR), the Health Insurance Commission (HIC), and the National Office of Information Economy (NOIE).

Findings of the report include - ¾ None of the agencies had agency-level administrative policies or guidance specifically addressing requirements and responsibilities for both monitoring and evaluation of agency websites and Internet-delivered

services. ¾ Agencies were unable to demonstrate the contribution of websites and portals to their outcomes and outputs. ¾ Most agencies had not conducted user research prior to establishing their

Internet-delivered services, but they had commissioned several forms of user research once services were operating. ¾ No agency in the audit had planned or conducted an overall evaluation of the effectiveness of Internet-delivered services.

The overall audit opinion is:

“Overall, in the ANAO’s opinion, the audit concluded that current approaches to the monitoring and evaluation of Internet services by agencies were not adequate.”

This Audit Report demonstrates the lack of policy leadership from both the Howard Government and the Minister responsible for NOIE, who are supposed to provide guidance to agencies regarding online services.

Once again the Howard Government has failed to ensure good practice in the delivery of online services to citizens. These adverse findings are further evidence of the failings of the Howard Government in relation to the Government’s IT policy.

Contact: Adina Cirson - (02) 6277 3334 or 0418 488 295