The National audit office has released a report examining how government departments measure the efficiency and effectiveness of their e-government initiatives. They failed miserably:
Only one agency had conducted a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether the Internet was the most effective form of delivery for their online service. No agency had calculated an expected return on investment for providing the service. Despite having information on both costs and benefits, and having outlined this as one of the principles to be used in determining whether a particular service should be provided online, other agencies did not include a cost-benefit analysis in their business cases.
Despite including evaluation plans in their business cases, most agencies had not evaluated their website redevelopments or new online services, although most planned to. Further, agencies did not generally have an integrated monitoring and evaluation policy for their Internet service delivery.
Overall, the ANAO concluded that agencies’ methods were inadequate to assess whether their delivery of government services and programs through the Internet was efficient and effective.
All a bit of a worry, given the Federal Government spends something like $4.6 billion (yes, that’s b for billion) on IT each year.