TechnologyOne disputes Brisbane City Council blowout claims

City's lord mayor says project is facing a potential cost overrun of $60 million

TechnologyOne has said it welcomes a review of an IT systems replacement program at Brisbane City Council but has denied it is to blame for delays to the project.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said today he is seeking to have the contract with TechnologyOne renegotiated. Quirk said that completion of the TechnologyOne rollout could end up 18 months behind schedule and $60 million more expensive than anticipated.

The contract to replace 13 outdated customer service systems at the council was awarded to TechnologyOne in June 2015. The total cost was expected to be $122 million over 10 years, and the council expected to realise $146 million in benefits.

“On Monday Civic Cabinet received a briefing about progress of an independent review of the Local Government Systems Program that is being conducted prior to any further investment, to gain assurance that appropriate due diligence has been undertaken to ensure a successful outcome,” Quirk said in a statement.

“When I was made aware in November last year that delivery of this contract was behind schedule, I commissioned a review so we can get the project back on track.”

The lord mayor said that the council had ceased making payments to TechnologyOne in October until it delivered on significant milestones.

“This review is ongoing, but Monday’s briefing has already identified some looming problems and I am taking decisive and immediate action,” Quirk said.

The lord mayor said that review had recommended renegotiating the contract and imposing a six-month deadline for the vendor. It also recommended the appointment of a systems integrator to assist in the system’s implementation into council’s existing systems, and plan for a viable alternate option to ensure existing IT systems remain available where necessary.

“Today I can announce I have approved that plan with the engagement of external service providers underway to provide independent oversight and implement those recommendations.”

In a statement TechnologyOne said that when the tender was awarded, Brisbane City Council agreed to be development partners with TechnologyOne for the project, “but as the project progressed it became clear that BCC struggled with this strategy”. As a result, delays were introduced into the project.

“Furthermore, Council requested substantially more functionality in our new generation product than was originally tendered,” the ASX-listed, Brisbane-headquartered software company said. “This additional software functionality has been provided by TechnologyOne at no additional cost to BCC.

“The software build has now been completed, tested, demonstrated and handed over to the BCC for the next stage of the project, which is to configure the software to meet their business processes.”

Existing council business processes were not well-defined before the project begin, and a consequent review by the council led to a 100 per cent increase in the number of identified processes, TechnologyOne said.

“As such the scope has increased substantially and that has also impacted the project timeline,” the company said.

It added that the council has not yet been charged any additional costs by TechnologyOne.

“TechnologyOne has remained within the contracted amount,” the statement said.

“It is also important to note that the additional $60m referred to in the press release does not include any additional costs from TechnologyOne at this time. TechnologyOne has previously voiced concern about the significant size of the team from BCC, because of the cost and effectiveness of such a large team.”

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