ASX provided a CHESS replacement project update to CHESS users, software providers and other stakeholders. There will be a delay to the delivery of application software and the engagement of Accenture to provide an independent review of the new CHESS application.
The review will bring external expertise to assess the remaining work required to complete delivery of the application and identify necessary actions for ASX to communicate a revised timetable to finish the project.
The CHESS replacement project remains at the center of ASX’s work to build an exchange of the future and deliver once-in-a-generation innovation to the market. It is a large and complex undertaking, involving multiple parties. ASX advised previously (28 March and 11 May 2022) that there had been delays to the expected delivery schedule of the CHESS application software.
ASX and Digital Asset (DA), the application software provider, have identified that more development is required than previously anticipated to meet ASX’s scalability and resilience requirements for the application, so as to build a new clearing and settlement system that serves the needs of Australia’s financial markets into the future. This is contributing to delays to the delivery of the remaining technical components of the application. Helen Lofthouse, who succeeded Dominic Stevens as ASX’s Managing Director and CEO on 1 August, has expressed support for the CHESS replacement project.
In bringing a fresh set of eyes, Helen is seeking an independent assessment of the new application and the remaining deliverables, and supports a process that will strengthen stakeholder confidence. To bring external expertise to assess the remaining work required to complete delivery of the application, ASX will engage Accenture to provide an independent review of the new CHESS application.
The review will also identify necessary actions for ASX to communicate a revised timetable to finish the project. DA will work in cooperation with ASX and Accenture to complete the review. The review is expected to commence in August and to take approximately 12 weeks.
The final report will be provided by ASX to ASIC (Australia Securities and Investments Commission) and RBA (Reserve Bank of Australia), and to EY as part of its ongoing reviews of ASX’s assurance program. ASX will publicly release the findings of the review. In parallel, ASX is progressing testing and technical accreditation with software providers, and working on a revised delivery schedule. This includes engaging with stakeholders on the timing of project milestones, including CHESS user and industry testing, operational readiness, market dress rehearsals and implementation.
Helen Lofthouse said in a statement: “There has been significant progress with CHESS replacement. But it is important that we take time for a careful, independent review of the work done to date and the work still to do. CHESS is a critical system and we must have high confidence in the schedule to deliver new CHESS safely.”