Disagreement over IRD phone bill discrepancy

The head of the consultancy that has allegedly identified overcharging in Inland Revenue's bills from Telecom is denying suggestions that it found the big discrepancies only recently, necessitating court action by IRD against Telecom to recover backdated additional costs.

The head of the consultancy that has allegedly identified overcharging in Inland Revenue’s bills from Telecom is denying suggestions that it found the big discrepancies only recently, necessitating court action by IRD against Telecom to recover backdated additional costs.

“I don’t think that was the case,” says the managing director of Auckland-based Alphacom, Peter Gensch, “but I really can’t comment, as we have a confidentiality agreement with [IRD].”

He confirms that Alphacom has been analysing IRD’s bills for about the past year (see IRD cries foul on Telecom costs). IRD has only recently acted on the alleged discrepancies, though Computerworld understands that Alphacom found the alleged overcharging only in the past month or two.

IRD has a clause in its contract undertaking that clients with a similar volume of Telecom business are not favoured with larger discounts.

The total amount at issue in alleged overcharging and miscalculation is said to be between $2 million and $4 million, and the 10 months or so that it is suggested Alphacom overlooked alone meant a loss to IRD of $57,000 a month, one industry source says.

IRD declines any further comment on the matter beyond the statement it made to Computerworld last week.

When asked about reports that the department had already gone to court over the matter, IRD spokeswoman Sian Routledge said last week that was not correct to her knowledge.

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