APVMA train wreck

The forced relocation of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to Barnaby Joyce's electorate continues to look like a train wreck.

Having admitted it will need to spend tens of millions of dollars on a digital strategy to allow APVMA staff to continue to work from Canberra, the Government cannot say when this strategy will be implemented.

The APVMA’s relocation strategy stressed the importance of the digital strategy, stating that:

A new digital strategy is a critical component for APVMA to successfully operate from Armidale. The strategy will cover how the APVMA can be:

  1. Data centric – given data is an important asset for the APVMA, the focus will be on managing data through a controlled, verified and managed single source of truth, with full data integration and analytical functionality.
  2. A fully mobile digital workplace – where corporate systems and information can be securely accessed anywhere, anytime from a variety of devices, with full on-line and intuitive collaboration tools for staff and clients.
  3. Streamlined and automated – with a single end to end online service with digital workflow control and automated ‘touch points’ and minimal data entry.

While Barnaby Joyce and Dr Chris Parker continue to spin that all is well at the APVMA, the truth is the key element of the relocation plan that digital strategy is a mess and stakeholders, the community and our farmers should be deeply concerned.

During Budget Estimates in May this year the APVMA stated that:

Ms Janiec: We are still finalising our business case to for the digital strategy, but we expect that we will be in a position to have a formal document to present to the Deputy Prime Minister within the allocated time frame.

Senator CAROL BROWN: What is the allocated time frame?

Ms Janiec: By the end of June.

Questions on Notice have revealed that the established timeframe has gone out the window.

Senator Brown, Carol asked the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, in writing, on 26 September 2017:

With reference to the ICT Strategic Plan and Digital Strategy announced by the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources to be delivered as part of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority’s (APVMA) relocation strategy:

  1. Has the ICT Strategic Plan and Digital Strategy has been considered by the APVMA Relocation Advisory Committee; if not, when is the strategy expected to be considered by that Committee?

  2. Has the ICT Strategic Plan and Digital Strategy has been presented to the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources; if not, when is this strategy expected to be presented to the Minister to be progressed through the usual Government approval processes?

  3. What is the expected cost over the next five Financial Years of delivering the ICT Strategic Plan and Digital Strategy?

  4. What is the expected timeframe for completion of the delivery of the ICT Strategic Plan and Digital Strategy?

Senator Nash – The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources has provided the following answer to the honourable member’s question:

  1. No, as it is still under development. The APVMA has discussed what it is working towards with its digital strategy proposal with the APVMA Relocation Advisory Committee, including at its most recent meeting on 27 September 2017 in Armidale.

  2. No. The APVMA anticipates it will provide its digital strategy proposal to the government in the coming months.

  3. Costs for the digital strategy will be considered by the government once the proposal has been finalised by the APVMA.
    Costs will be determined through the usual government processes.

  4. To be determined once the digital strategy is finalised by the APVMA.

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