News that Auckland Council has spent $1.2 billion on IT since the Super City was formed in 2010 has been met with harsh criticism from Auckland Mayoral candidate Victoria Crone, who has branded the blowout as a “shambles”.
As revealed by the New Zealand Herald, the outrageous IT spend is enough to pay for the council’s half share of the $2.5 billion city rail link.
“Figures provided to the Herald under the Official Information Act show Auckland Council has spent $902 million, Auckland Transport $209 million and Watercare $124 million on IT since 2010,” states the New Zealand Herald.
"Senior executives attribute the costs to moving from computer systems inherited from the eight former councils to a single environment.”
For Crone, in speaking as the former Manager Director of Xero New Zealand, the level of overspend is “phenomenal” and still unclear whether the Council has anything to show for it.
But what is clear, claims Crone, is that the Council has failed in their governance responsibilities to Aucklanders and ratepayers.
“Having worked in the IT and communications sector in Senior Management and governance positions during my 20-years in business, I have never seen such gross negligence at all levels of project management and people must be held accountable for this, including the cost blowout and lack of governance oversight,” Crone slams.
“For $1.2 billion, you’d not only have transformed your IT systems and processes, migrated your whole staff to modern day computing solutions, such as cloud-based communications, and have built new network infrastructure, such as a mobile network.
“The fact that Council is attempting to combine systems is an inaccurate justification for this level of investment.”
Citing the blowout as “completely unjustifiable”, Crone claims that if elected, she will provide “strong leadership, fresh ideas, and deliver real results for Aucklanders”.
“I have the governance and operational experience to ensure Auckland has the right level of reporting and questions in place to avoid debacles likes this,” she adds.