Warning over Super City's IT system
A $157 million Super City computer system has a potentially "catastrophic" risk, says Auditor General Lyn Provost.
The NewCore system, the cost of which has blown out from $71 million to $157 million, also carries an "almost certain" risk with a "major impact", she said.
Last night, the council's chief information officer Dean Kimpton said Ms Provost was commenting on information supplied in May and the computer system had improved significantly since then.
In the past few days, Ms Provost told the council's leadership and councillors the NewCore programme is an area of significant cost and risk to the council.
NewCore is considered key to delivering the promised savings of the Super City. It is designed to consolidate the outdated operating systems of the former eight councils, which merged in 2010 to become the Auckland Council.
A report to councillors in May made no mention of a "catastrophic" risk with the data issue, only that the "issues are being prioritised and addressed".
Last week, council managers gave councillors an upbeat progress report on NewCore, saying it was progressing well and forecast to be completed on time and on budget.
Councillor Cameron Brewer said the pointed references from the Auditor-General were a timely wake-up call following a pretty gung-ho impression given by officers last week.
Well five years has come and gone and it seems ‘things’ are far from settled or even operational. Talk to anyone who has day to day dealings with Council and they will tell you they never know who they are dealing with. Staff turnover remains high which means a constant loss of institutional knowledge and memory. The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.
Officers spend their lives smoothing over the cracks, telling Councillors just enough to keep them from asking more questions, massaging the figures, putting a brave face on a dysfunctional organisation. The public is treated with contempt.
Any new mayor will have their work cut out figuring out who they can trust among the officers and who needs consigning to the rubbish heap. There may be some capable souls but, from my own experience, they are few and far between. Elected representatives should be able to rely on information they are given by bureaucrats but they cannot while the bureaucrats run their own political agendas.
They could make a start by getting rid of all the useless individuals from the old Manukau City who kept Len Brown in power there and found themselves promoted way beyond their abilities in Auckland Council. Then you could get rid of the old Waitakere City dross and bring in some financial talent that understands balance sheets and how to manage a budget - most housewives fit that bill better than Auckland Council's finance officers.