IV&V to finally be part of Malaysian government ICT project rollout

  • Malaysian government to make it mandatory for IV&V to be a component of its critical & high impact ICT projects
  • MAMPU also aims to get academia to be involved in the IV&V initiative to help create a virtuous cycle

IV&V to finally be part of Malaysian government ICT project rollout

IT has taken longer than expected to execute due to a bureaucratic tangle but with persistence and a strong belief in the value of the project, the Malaysian government is finally about to introduce independent third party software testing or independent verification and validation (IV&V) as it is formally described, for key ICT projects that its various ministries embark on.

As DNA has written in the past, the key twin objectives of this move are to increase the robustness and software quality of key ICT projects the government embarks on while helping to develop a pool of strong local companies with competence to execute the IV&V for these public sector projects. Those IV&V projects will only be open to majority Malaysian owned companies to bid and carry out software testing work.

[Para edited for clarity.]

The agency spearheading this for the government is MAMPU, which stands for Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit and is the defacto ICT lead agency for the government. Mampu has been working with the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to tighten a procurement circular that since 2013 has encouraged, not made it mandatory, for all government agencies embarking on software development projects deemed to be critical and of high impact to deploy third party testing.

“When I met you last year I said we were currently in discussions with MOF to make it mandatory for such critical and high impact projects go through an independent verification and validation or IV&V,” says MAMPU Principal ICT Consultant (System Development), ICT Consultancy Division, Kathirrasan K Kupusamy (pic, 5th from left).

“I am now happy to say that we are ready to implement IV&V for such projects which will be vetted and mandated by a high level committee at MAMPU known as Public Sector ICT Technical Committee.” 

[Para edited for clarity.]

With a team of 8 people with him, MAMPU has prepared a handbook on IV&V that will serve as a guide for the various government agencies in their planning and execution. The guidebook will also be useful to vendors out there on the criteria they need to follow to be certified as competent and qualified IV&V players who are eligible to participate in IV&V tenders.

“This is a very specialised field and we are adopting global standards for them to follow with the German TMMI and the ISO 17025 standards that they must attain,” says Kathirrasan.

As of end June, 12 software companies have qualified to participate in future government IV&V tenders,” says Kathirrasan. "Our “entire reason for rolling this out is to build capacity in our home grown software companies. In the past their excuse for not upgrading their capabilities was that there was no demand. But now there will be."

 A series of roadshows will be conducted nationwide to further explain the IV&V initiative to software companies in the hope of getting more of them interested to upgrade their capabilities to be IV&V certified. The benefit to the government is that a larger pool of companies will participate in its IV&V tenders and drive the quality up.

At the same time, MAMPU will also be engaging with academia. “We want to know the impact of this move and what value the government is getting from this move to get IV&V into the process of our ICT implementations,” says Kathirrasan.

The added benefit of getting academia involved is that they can see first hand the demand this move creates for top quality software engineers and testers and may add these programmes into their curriculum.

Kathirrasan is hopeful that this will create a virtuous cycle then of highly competent software engineers leading to stronger Malaysia software companies and higher quality government ICT project execution.

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