The War of Wellington... Council under fire for Aussie tech hire

A major row has erupted over the cost of the planned Wellington City Council IT replacement contract, awarded to Australian company TechnologyOne.

A major row has erupted between prominent Wellington IT consultant and commentator Ian Apperley and the Wellington City Council over the cost of the planned council IT replacement contract, awarded to Australian company TechnologyOne.

Wellington mayor Celia Wade Brown says she has been assured that the proposed budget is in the region of $10 million.

“$10 million-ish to replace 120 different IT systems of which a propostion are aged, legacy and complex, plus the same across eight other councils,” Apperley blogged, saying he had never seen a total system replacement that cost $10 million dollars.

A report by Deloite, titled Wellington Local Government Re-organisation Options – Transition Costs and Benefits for Technology Changes, puts the total cost of a “one Wellington” solution at between $105 million and $150 million.

In a subsequent post, Apperley posed 36 questions to the mayor and councillors, including the total expected cost of the council's Project Odyssey, which systems are being replaced, the business case that supports the cost and how many staff at the council were former employees of TechnologyOne, and vice versa.

He's asked that among nine items, the gift register for the council's IT department be made public.

In response to questions from Computerworld New Zealand, a council spokesman, Anthony Wilson, says the information being contrasted around computer spend comes from three different initiatives and therefore isn’t comparable.

“The Local Government Commission released a document that discusses regional amalgamation. Deloitte developed potential costs for the merger of nine councils across the Wellington region," Wilson responded.

"The scope included all ICT services – infrastructure, applications, outsourcing etc. The $100 million figure I gather is referred to in this report.

“This Deloitte report in turn refers to a different Deloitte feasibility study that was funded by the Wellington region Shared ICT Infrastructure Programme (SIIP).

"SIIP is a separate initiative where four councils within the Wellington region and Wellington Water (a council-controlled organisation) are looking at a common ICT infrastructure platform ahead of any form of regional amalgamation.

"We are currently working on a business case. No further information can be provided as we are working through a procurement phase."

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