Geac, which has won a Wellington City Council contract for rates and water billing software, was putting up its own software against a joint-venture outsourced service which used the same programs.
The outsourced rates-and-billing management service, known as e-rate, was created with WCC in mind by a joint venture that originally involved government-owned Quotable Value and NZ Post. Post backed out of the venture last year and was replaced by private multinational Geac, which dominates the local government market in New Zealand.
The dual deal was entirely above board, says Quotable Value strategic project manager Leigh Halstead. “We knew Geac was pitching both the software and our [joint] service, and Wellington [council] decided on the software. We’re quite happy about that; there is no suggestion of anything upsetting or clandestine.”
The QV-Geac joint venture is still in existence and energetically pursuing other opportunities in local government, Halstead says.
Geac’s software bid also beat proposals to WCC from a number of highly-ranked consultancies and software providers, including Fujitsu, Compaq, Datacom, KPMG, Deloitte and UK-based local government and utilities specialist Sanderson.
In November last year NZ Post “made the decision that its preference was to be a service provider to the [e-rate] consortium rather than an equity partner”, spokesman Simon Taylor says. “That was purely a commercial decision, based on our investment