This audit reviewed the effectiveness of learning technologies
in government schools. In particular, the audit focused on two key
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD)
learning technology initiatives: VicSmart and the Ultranet.
The government's current policy for ICT in school
education, The Digital Learning Statement
(the Statement), does not provide a clear action plan or framework
for investment in learning technologies. This means that
departmental staff and school leaders have little guidance on how
future learning technology initiatives can be appropriately planned
Planning for the VicSmart high-speed fibre-optic network for all
government schools was underpinned by a robust needs and options
analysis. The high-speed connectivity that VicSmart provides is a
key enabler of current and future digital learning in government
In contrast, the Ultranet was poorly planned and implemented.
Six years after its announcement, it is yet to achieve expected
benefits for students, parents and schools. It is significantly
late, more than 80 per cent over its first announced budget, has
very low uptake, and does not have originally intended
This audit identified a number of serious probity, procurement
and financial management issues surrounding the Ultranet project.
DEECD’s tender process lacked rigour and was seriously flawed.
There is little confidence in the financial management practices
around the Ultranet project, and limited assurance that the
selected outcome represented value for money.