A 186-page audit by former Productivity Commission head Bill Scales says the evolution of Labor’s NBN was “rushed, chaotic and inadequate,” signalling the need for greater policy consideration and cost analysis of large public-sector ventures.
The tabled document said Labor’s NBN Mark II – at a cost of $43 billion – had “no business case or any cost-benefit analysis” and lacked independent policy studies and transparent operating instructions.
“By contrast, with NBN Mark I, the public policy process for developing NBN Mark II was rushed, chaotic and inadequate,” it says.
The audit revealed the revised scheme received just 11 weeks consideration and “no consultation with the wider community,” and has recommended that any future projects costing more than $1 billion undergo a cost-benefit analysis and public consideration prior to commencement.
“The Government should take special care in determining and deciding appropriate, realistic time frames are put in place for the design and implementation of large and complex infrastructure projects and reforms,” it says.
The coalition will launch an independent analysis into the economic and social costs, benefits and preparations for the NBN, however the government’s infrastructure policy does not require that the cost-benefit analysis receive public scrutiny.
In related news, the debate over who is responsible for repairing Australia’s growing piracy concerns continues.
More at The Oz.
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