ASX sorry for November outage after review

A day's trading was lost during an outage at the Australian Stock Exchange in November last year.
A day's trading was lost during an outage at the Australian Stock Exchange in November last year.

The head of the Australian Securities Exchange has apologised for an outage in November that caused a day's trading to be lost after a review found a new system was not ready to go live.

The review overseen by the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission said the outage occurred after a major upgrade to the ASX's equity trading platform, ASX Trade.

"The regulators view operational incidents of this nature with significant concern," the RBA and the ASIC said in a joint statement on Monday.

The review conducted by IBM Australia found that overall the ASX met or exceeded leading industry practices in a majority of the capabilities assessed.

"However, the independent expert identified several key shortcomings in the project," they said.

These included factors suggesting the ASX Trade system was not ready to go live considering ASX's near-zero risk appetite for service disruption, gaps in the rigour applied to the project delivery risk and issue management process.

"It was not reasonable to conclude that ASX's test plan was consistent with its risk appetite," it said.

The review made recommendations in seven key categories - risk, governance, delivery, requirements, vendor management, testing and incident management.

ASX CEO Dominic Stevens apologised for the disruption and has taken responsibility for strengthening ASX's operational resilience.

"Last November's market outage fell short of ASX's high standards," Mr Stevens said.

"We believed that the software was ready for go-live, as did our technology provider Nasdaq. Clearly, there were issues, which was particularly disappointing given the significant progress we have made on resilience in recent years."

The regulators expect ASX to apply the insights from IBM's findings across the ASX group to ensure existing and proposed projects are managed and implemented appropriately.

Australian Associated Press