Wellington City Council fights back following industry pressure

Wellington City Council goes on offensive following criticism of its process in naming Australian company TechnologyOne as the preferred vendor for its major technology upgrade project.

The council also told Computerworld New Zealand that it has not yet finished its due-diligence process in which it is closely looking at TechnologyOne’s suitability in all areas.

“However, we stand by our decision to provisionally select TechnologyOne to fulfil our requirements in project Odyssey,” MacLean added.

As reported by Computerworld New Zealand, the council offered assurances that the council ran a “robust and open procurement process” and that under the terms of this process TechnologyOne are deserved winners.

“That is not the point,” countered NZRise co chair Don Christie. “The problem NZRise has is with the overall approach that the council has taken.

“In their response they do admit that there are a large number of systems being replaced. These cover very wide and diverse specialist areas.”

Consequently, Christie believes there is no doubt that it is important to have smart strategic thinking about technology usage.

“Our contention is that it is necessary to keep the 'smart' bit within council and to ensure that it is possible to procure 'best of breed' solutions for each area of specialisation, whether that be financial control, asset management, HR, payroll, fault reporting, disaster readiness and so on,” he added.

“The strategic thinking needs to be around setting open standards for interoperability - something modern architectures have defined very well - and adhering to those standards.”

According to Christie, experience has suggested that this builds “robustness and resilience” into IT infrastructure that can't be replicated by homogeneous solutions while also allowing for rapid responses to be made to unforeseen developments,whether they be technological or natural.

“The council's response shows no interest in what ground-breaking local government organisations are doing overseas,” Christie added.

“NZRise does not claim higher domain knowledge than the council on the business of running a council. But our members do have very wide experience over multiple sectors that can add to the capability of the organisations we work with.”

When quizzed for comment by Computerworld New Zealand, Apperley was more blunt. “I'm over them,” he said.

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