BAIRD GOVERNMENT WASTES $500 MILLION ON SCHOOL IT DEBACLE

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A bungled IT system to manage back office tasks for schools has cost taxpayers more than half a billion dollars and has been rolled out to only one in ten of NSW’s schools.

The Department of Education and Communities’ Learning Management and Business Reform program (LMBR) is running six months behind schedule, $90 million over budget, and apparently with no end in sight. 

The LMBR system is designed to allow schools to easily manage pay, finance, personnel and student administration and was due to have been operational in the state’s 2218 schools by last December at a total cost of $483 million.

But the online system has been plagued with problems, from unpaid bills to contractors to teachers being pulled out of the classroom to fix it.

The NSW Auditor General issued a critical report last year. The report found that until 2011, the year the Coalition came to power, the program was “well managed”.

The Baird Government has failed to nominate a new completion date, fix the problems, or deliver on the projected cost savings from the new program.

Quotes attributable to Wastewatch Committee Chair Chris Minns:

"Adrian Piccoli is overseeing a computer software debacle that's already six months late, $90 million over budget and only rolled out to one in ten schools.”

"Thousands of kids go to school every day and learn in old demountable classrooms while this Minister spends over $500 million on an IT system that doesn’t work.”

"Just because the Government is swimming in rivers of stamp duty tax, it doesn't excuse this massive case of waste and mismanagement.”

“Adrian Piccoli promised to fix this mess four years ago, but the LMBR system today is worse than ever.”

"How can parents have faith in the Minister to implement education reform and meet the challenges kids face in the classroom when he can't roll out a piece of computer software?”

"Mike Baird needs to call the Minister in, hold him to account and fix this mess.”

"There are real doubts about whether Minister Piccoli is up to the job and if he can't deliver then Mike Baird needs to put managing this program with someone who can."