A human resources system replacement project has been abandoned by the government of the Australian Capital Territory, after a report found it deficient “from options consideration to implementation”.
The decision to jettison the Human Resources Information Management Systems (HRIMS) project was buried deep in the territory’s 2023-2024 budget papers this week.
ACT's HRIMS project came under fire in a review written by Yarrabee Consulting, published in May [pdf].
As well as calling project governance “deficient”, the Leeper report said “the business owner responsible for the service outcome was not engaged, assumptions were made but not challenged about the ongoing suitability of the Chris21 product [an HR system in service since 2005]; roles and responsibilities (owner, user, supplier) were unclear, and there was no single person accountable for delivery.”
The Leeper report added that a feasibility study undertaken in 2017 “discarded any option that would have updated and/or expanded the Chris21 functionality to the broader human capital functions sought by the territory”.
Now, current systems will be upgraded instead.
“The government will continue to improve payroll and human resource management within the ACT Public Service and revise the implementation approach by ending the HRIMS program and upgrading existing HR and payroll solutions," the government said.
While HRIMS is being discontinued, the government said it “supports the implementation of a new time and attendance system that will create efficiencies across the ACT Public Service through reduced manual processing”.
Canning the project will make up most of a $73.8 million saving in operating expenses, the budget states.
“This decrease is attributed to the expensing of components of the HRIMS that are no longer able to be capitalised in 2022-23, and a decrease in insurance claims expense," it said.
ACT’s 2019-2020 budget put $33.7 million of capital funding towards the project, part of a total $49.6 million poured into HRIMS that year.
The 2022-2023 budget saw a further $6.6 million allocated to HRIMS.