Bernard Orsman

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Auckland's $54m computer system bill only the start

File photo / APN
File photo / APN

The international consultancy firm Deloitte charged up to $3400 a day a head for its staff to build a new computer system for the Super City, a confidential paper shows.

Deloitte led a consortium that was paid about $27 million in consultancy fees as part of a basic $54 million computer system to get the Auckland Council up and running.

A confidential proposal from Deloitte, obtained by the Herald, shows the firm estimated its workload at more than 8500 work days at rates between $1200 for an analyst and $3400 for a senior manager. The daily rates excluded GST.

Two other partners in the consortium, computer consultants Soltius and computer firm Hewlett Packard, charged staff rates of between $1400 to $1600 and $1125 to $1800 respectively.

The rates of the fourth partner in the consortium, software provider SAP, were not included in the proposal.

Yesterday, Deloitte refused to comment on its rates, but Auckland Council chief finance officer Andrew McKenzie said they were the result of a competitive tender process.

He said external consultants were used where expertise was not available at the council and reflected the appropriate price following a competitive process. "Ratepayers are not being ripped off," Mr McKenzie said.

The $54 million project ended in July last year, but Deloitte and a new consortium continue to work on a more comprehensive computer system for the Auckland Council, estimated to cost about $500 million over 10 years.

In the January 2010 proposal by Deloitte, the consultancy firm looked forward to an ongoing relationship with the council: "These next 18 months are but the beginning."

Mr McKenzie refused to say if Deloitte was being paid the same or similar rates to the earlier project, saying they were commercially sensitive.

While the council continues to pour tens of millions of dollars into its computer system, the largest council-controlled organisation, Auckland Transport, is getting by nicely on a computer system copied from the former Auckland Regional Council for $3.4 million. The cost includes hardware, software and installation.

The officer in charge of overhauling the council computer system, Mike Foley, has always argued the two organisations and their systems are different. The council was a more complex organisation with a staff of 8000. Auckland Transport had 1000 staff.

Concerns have been raised in IT circles about the decision to build the Auckland Council system from scratch with former regional council IT head John Holley saying the complexity of the two systems was not the issue as transport was more complex in some areas and vice-versa.

A business case prepared for the Auckland Transition Agency, which had the job of setting up the Super City, showed that after consultancy costs of $27 million, the next biggest cost of the initial computer project was software licensing at $18 million.

DAILY CHARGES

Deloitte
* Senior manager: $3400
* Manager: $2800
* Senior consultant: $2200
* Consultant: $1800
* Analyst: $1200

Soltius
* Enterprise architect: $1600
* Project management: $1500
* Consultant: $1400

Hewlett Packard
* Lead resources: $1800
* Testing team members: $1350
* Data migration team: $1312
* Developer resource: $1125

- NZ Herald

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