Auckland Council’s Expensive IT System

 

In February 2012 it was reported in the Herald that Deloitte led a consortium that was paid about $27 million in consultancy fees as part of a basic $54 million computer system to get the Auckland Council up and running. Chief finance officer Andrew McKenzie said “Ratepayers are not being ripped off.” The project ended in July 2011. The Feb 2012 Herald report revealed a more comprehensive computer system was being worked on estimated to cost $500 million over 10 years

In November 2014 it was revealed Council’s reset of its New Core programme had blown out from the original costing in 2012 of $71 million to a cost “in the range of $155 million”.

In December 2015 Auditor General Lynn Provost was highly critical of the $157m New Core system.

In a Herald article on 29 February 2016 the following expenditures on IT since 2010 were revealed:

Auckland Council $902m, Auckland Transport $209m, Watercare $124m.     — all in all a staggering total of $1.235 billion!!!

How well is it working for ratepayers?

Recently I wished to inspect the agenda for the forthcoming Henderson Massey Local Board(HMLB) meeting on Tuesday 21 March 2017.  Agendas are usually published on the Council website at least two working days prior to a meeting. I checked the website after the close of business on Thursday 16 March 2017. There was no agenda for HMLB, although I did notice agendas for Waitemata Local Board, Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board, Great Barrier LB, Finance and Performance Committee, and Devonport-Takapuna LB – all for 21 March.

First thing Friday morning I sent an email to Dayle Muru (woman I have been instructed by the Chief Executive to have sole contact with) asking why no agenda was published for HMLB. At 9am I rang and left a message for her to ring me. Having received neither email nor returned phone call from Dayle Muru by 4.30 pm Monday, I again rang and left a message for her to ring me. She rang back at 4.45 pm and told me she had been away sick on Friday.

At 4 pm on 21 March the HMLB meeting took place.

At 1.15 pm on Wednesday 22 March Dayle Muru emailed me. “The online version was not available on the council website due to a technical error which was fixed on Friday morning.”

Let’s hope we long-suffering ratepayers are not required to stump up with another billion dollars to rectify technical errors in our state of the art IT system.

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