Australians will thank government for immeasurable innovation agenda: Morrison

Australia Treasurer Scott Morrison has brushed aside an Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report that found the government’s AU$1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda lacked an ability to assess its outcomes.

“Much of the advice was general in nature and did not present quantitative or in-depth analysis of problems, expected impacts, or how outcomes would be measured,” ANAO said in its report into the agenda.

“Limited or no advice was provided to government during the design process on a range of implementation matters for the Agenda as a whole including: implementation risks, governance, and evaluation arrangements.”

Morrison hit back when speaking to journalists on Thursday, saying the government was unapologetic.

“The criticism that has been made of we are moving too quickly, and the government is not going to make apologies for moving too quickly to get in place the right incentives … to drive jobs to support the economy,” he said.

“If the criticism that is going to be made of us is that we are moving too quickly, then I think that is something the Australian people will thank us for.”

The ANAO report recommended the Department of Industry finalise the evaluation strategy for the National Innovation and Science Agenda, and establish formal monitoring arrangements with relevant entities, so that the results of evaluation activities can be used to inform advice to government on future measures and the continuation of existing measures.

While focused on the future during an address on the launch of an Australian Computer Society data sharing white paper, Morrison did not address the spate of technology failures the government has had a hand in over the recent past — including the Census bungle, the Centrelink robodebt crisis, and the ongoing problems plaguing the Australia Taxation Office (ATO).

In response to a question from ZDNet on how…

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