Management and implementation of 1BestariNet Read full text in English
1BestariNet Service Project (1BestariNet) is an initiative undertaken by the Malaysian Ministry of Education (MOE) to replace and enhance ICT connectivity in schools. It is an enhancement to the SchoolNet service which terminated on 31 December 2010 with emphasis on end-to-end solutions (E2E) network services together with Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Under this project, 10,000 primary and secondary public schools in Malaysia are equipped with high-speed 4G Internet access and a virtual learning platform, providing high-speed internet connectivity and access to a world-class Integrated Learning Solution. 1BestariNet serves as a major catalyst for internet penetration in Malaysia as well as the projected increase in national income. AUDIT OBJECTIVE: The audit was carried out to evaluate whether the management and implementation of 1BestariNet was carried out economically, efficiency and effectively to achieve the inttended objectives. AUDIT SCOPE: The audit scope includes planning, implementation and monitoring of 1BestariNet Project. The audit was carried out at 1BestariNet’s Project Management Office, Ministry of Education Malaysia (Education Technology Division, Procurement and Asset Management Division), State Educations Departments and 50 Government Schools and Government Aided Schools in and around the Central Zone (Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, State of Selangor and Perak), Northern Zone (State of Kedah and Perlis), Southern Zone (State of Malacca and Johor), East Coastal Zone (State of Terengganu) and Eastern Zone (State of Sabah and Sarawak). AUDIT METHODOLOGY: The audit was carried by checking files and documents related to 1BestariNet project, data analysis, physical check on the 1BestariNet network, walk through system, visit to the 1BestariNet Data Centre located at the vendor’s premise, interviews with staff of vendor, education officers, teachers and questionnaires to 500 schools.
- IT systems were developed by the public agencies to expedite their business processes and tools to manage information. Although the systems developed are meant to expedite their business processes, there is still resistance from staffs.
- In most of the systems audited, the major issue was system underutilisation in terms of functionality.
- The audit of the e-Project Monitoring II, e-PBT (e-Local Authority), and 1Bestari for example yielded interesting facts such as, underutilisation of the system functions due to lack of knowledge; lack of training, delayed in project implementation due to the additional scope of work or change requests by users, system specifications were not clearly defined, and database was not updated due to lack of monitoring from the central the agency.
- The lack of technical expertise and experiences in public sectors prompted outsourcing to be applied in most ICT initiatives.
- Most public sector agencies become too dependent on vendor in the implementation of ICT projects.
- Lesson learnt from outsourcing is business risks which include deficient compliance with contract terms, system/equipment’s specifications and user requirements. Audit findings revealed that these business risks have created problems in the system implementation such as vendor driven, existence of hidden cost, increase cost and knowledge gaps.
- As a result of high dependency, on vendor expertise, the staffs are incompetent to manage changes or modification to the systems, also decelerates the learning process, resistance in knowledge transfer, unproductive technology transfer and low sense of belongings. The knowledge gaps create unsatisfactory system’s performance as well as ineffectiveness transfer of expertise among the staffs.
- High level personnel are entrusted to ensure strategic alignment of IT with business, conduct risk management, performance measurement and resource management.
- The tone at the top should be conducive to ensure the management practices and policies are well supported by the lower level personnel.
- From the perspective of system development, a participative strategy would be beneficial to the organisations which include getting the lower level personnel involve in the system development process such as user requirements studies, testing phase, conducting pilot studies and disseminating of information, procedures or standards. This strategy will enable users to participate by giving suggestions in addressing issues related to technological or business processes.
- Based on the audit reviews, staffs are not competent enough to manage the system because training was not sufficient and responsibilities were not properly aligned for each staff.
- the quality of the system was not properly managed, monitored, measured and improved
- several issues were identified which include project delayed, vendor demands extension of time, interruptions occur when changes are made to the system; inaccurate report produced by the system; output produced is unreliable and incomplete; errors in data migration; audit trails are not embedded in the system; incorrect assumptions with regards to user requirement; unutilised hardware or software, and helpdesk response was poor
- The ineffective quality management has resulted in cost overrun and interruption in the service delivery processes.