Saturday , March 23 2019

Charges laid over over bungled public schools IT system

Victoria’s anti-corruption Commission, IBAC, has charged three people in relation to the failed Ultranet project for Victorian Government schools.

IBAC’s Operation Dunham, one of IBAC’s most complex investigations, examined the conduct of officers of the former Department of Education and Training in connection with the failed Ultranet project and related matters. The Ultranet was intended to be an online teaching and learning system for Victorian Government schools. It was cancelled in 2014, with estimates of its eventual cost ranging from $127 million to $240 million.

The three people – a former Managing Director and CEO, a former Group General Manager Technology Solutions, and a former Department of Education and Training Deputy Secretary – have each been charged with five counts of obtaining property by deception. The former Department of Education and Training Deputy Secretary has also been charged with one count of misconduct in public office.

The three have been summoned to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 3 July.

IBAC can make no further comment on the matter as it is now before the Court.

Operation Dunham

On 27 January 2017, IBAC tabled a report before Parliament on its findings and recommendations following an investigation into the conduct of officers of the Department of Education and Training (DET) in connection with the Ultranet project and related matters.

Known as Operation Dunham, the investigation has resulted in recommendations being made to the:

  • Department of Education and Training (DET) to review current arrangements governing how schools and other work areas pursue and respond to commercial opportunities; and strengthen internal procurement and governance arrangements for major projects  
  • Victorian Public Sector Commission to consider banning public sector employees receiving any gift, benefit or hospitality from a current or prospective supplier
  • Department of Treasury and Finance to consider improvements to reviews of high value and/or high risk projects. 

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