Little progress with $64m management system for trouble kids


A case management system that will cost $64m and is designed to “get young people out of the cycle of crime” is “currently working through a tender process,” according to Minister for Families Dale Wakefield.
This is $14m more than the government has set aside for the planned national Aboriginal art gallery in Alice Springs.
She announced the initiative in November 2018 when the quoted cost was $66.9m.
For a year and three months the government staff responsible for these children have been working with “the obsolete Community Care Information System” – as Ms Wakefield describes it – with no end in sight.
She says the CMSA program, which will provide “a business intelligence and data analytics capability” is now is being managed by the Department of Corporate and Information Services (DCIS) on behalf of Territory Families.
“The project is currently working through a tender process to acquire the core case management software upon which the system will be based,” says Ms Wakefield.
“The program is scheduled to be delivered over several years and will deliver a contemporary digital solution to support frontline staff working with vulnerable children and young people.”


  1. Information management systems with magical capabilities have an unfortunate history in the NT.
    The need for them emerges when governments have run out of solutions to major problems.
    This one is claimed to “get young people out of the cycle of crime”.
    Similarly IMOS was designed to break the cycle of recidivism and reduce the numbers of prisoners in our jails.
    IMOS took twice as long to make and cost more than twice its original budget.
    It was a near useless system, mismatched to on the ground realities and the needs of Corrections staff.
    For political reasons it was never used to research which programs actually worked in reducing recidivism.
    This case management system will also blow out in cost and will not break the cycle of crime.
    But with no answers it is timely, even if useless and yet more expenditure we can’t afford.

  2. The question is, will this be more successful or less successful the the Labor Government’s Asset Management System from 10 odd years ago that cost $70m only for it to be scrapped as it was not fit for for purpose and was going to blow out to near $200m.
    Given that this government is arguably even more useless than the Henderson era government it’s not looking promising.
    Can I suggest that $64m instead be spent on front line services and infrastructure so that the somewhat homeless kids have somewhere safe to be taken to in the night and are not on the streets?

  3. Unfortunately when the system abandons the law abiding citizens we are empowering the criminals. No consequences will lead to a state of near anarchy and very soon. The majority are powerless to change this while we overseen by corrupt and inept policymakers.

  4. “The program is scheduled to be delivered over several years and will deliver a contemporary digital solution to support frontline staff working with vulnerable children and young people.”
    This describes a $64 MILLION program to provide TEMPORARY SUPPORT FOR CASE WORKERS who are trying to solve runaway youth crime and criminal behaviour.
    What the heck does “a temporary digital solution over several years” actually mean? To the average station hand, builder’s labourer or copper loader in the railway yards it means diddly squat and sounds like bureaucratic gobbledigook.
    Does the average punter understand how throwing multi millions of dollars at a computer-generated program operated by computer geeks sitting in offices (probably outsourced to overseas computer geeks run by Asian companies) can in any way make a hands-on difference on the street and in our juvenile justice system? In Alice? At Yuendumu?
    Could Ms Wakefield sit down with the average punter one-on-one over coffee and convince us it is worth this obscene amount of money? Or even explain exactly what it does? Honestly?

  5. Jack has it right, the IOMS system manages offenders from corrections through to community corrections.
    Dale Wakefield should latch onto this system, it would easily allow an add on, that could record all incidents and through care notes from the time they are in Juvi, and then track them through to their time in prison then back to community corrections. No need at all to fund a stand alone system, it already exists.

  6. @ Local 1: A management system almost the same as IOMS had already been developed and was operational in Queensland.
    It could have been reprogrammed for peanuts.
    But no! A new IOMS had to be built to match exact NT needs.
    Our IOMS never matched those needs and the cost was extraordinary.
    And yes our IOMS could be adapted now but it won’t be.
    Nothing will distract from the political mileage gained through this new system.
    And it will do everything.
    Youth crime will plummet once we have it operational.
    The massive cost will be justified by political spin for the next election.


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