[LINK] itN: Vic Contact-Tracing False Start Mar-Jul 2020

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Mon Dec 14 13:09:27 AEDT 2020

It's really nice to see a good, short case study emerge from a Parltry
Committee Inquiry and a journo's analysis of the Report:

Vic govt axed IBM i2 from freshly digitised contact tracing system
Did not meet predictive analytics needs.
Ry Crozier
Dec 14 2020

It's easy to be critical of the Vic DHHS people for taking from March to
July to get their ideas sufficiently clear in their minds, and do enough
'probity' to make it unlikely that the second go would be a stuff-up.

But it would have been hard in March, sitting there, trying to work out
what was going on, and what kinds of decisions might be needed, and what
kinds of data might need to be interrogated in what kinds of ways, and
what kinds of automated triggers might help.  20-20 hindsight's easier.

Okay, it's amazing that $4.2m could have been committed to up-front,
rather than a short series of contracts being used, to experiment, do a
quick proof-of-concept application, and only then sign a supply
contract.  But (a) DHHS and Cabinet needed to be doing something, and be
seen to be doing so, and (b) they're remarkably profligate at any time.

Blind reliance on the 'predictive modelling' and 'AI' mantras might have
been the biggest villain in the piece.

Roger Clarke                            mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
T: +61 2 6288 6916   http://www.xamax.com.au  http://www.rogerclarke.com

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA

Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Law            University of N.S.W.
Visiting Professor in Computer Science    Australian National University

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