Auditor-General warns over Auckland Council IT system

The Herald reports:

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 .

Last year, the Herald revealed the budget blowout of the new system, which is due to start in June next year, a year later than originally planned.

In an audit of the council’s books, Ms Provost said, at the end of July this year, council officers assessed NewCore’s overall status as “Red – Critical”.

For a $160 million budget that is a huge concern.

Were Councilors told this at the time? Why not?

Does the Council receive and review a risk register? That is a core role of governance – risk.

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”.

If I was a Councillor I’d want to be regularly receiving a risk register. Not one of all operational risks, but of major risks with significant fiscal or reputational impact.

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