An old computer cobbled together for $2.2 million is taking business off a new council computer costing hundreds of millions of dollars to build from scratch.

A council body is ditching the flagship council computer system for much of its IT services for a faster, more flexible and cheaper service from the computer system operated by Auckland Transport.

The move is a fresh blow for the council's IT programme, which cost ratepayers $253 million in capital costs in the first four years of the Super City with a further $445 million budgeted over the next 10 years.

Last November, the Herald revealed a $75 million cost blowout to a key part of the new system. The business case was for $71 million.

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Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) began moving its desktop services, such as telephone, printing and document management, to the Auckland Transport system in December. Financial and other services remain with the council system. Ateed external relations manager Steve Armitage cited more flexibility, a faster network and on-site technical support as reasons for the move.

Roger Jones, Auckland Transport's chief technology officer, said about 70 per cent of Ateed's IT needs were moving across to its network at a lower cost.

He was very happy with the Auckland Transport system, which was copied from the former regional council system for $2.2 million in the transition to the Super City.

The biggest upgrade in five years was a new customer relationship management system costing about $600,000, he said. Council IT manager Mike Foley, who has been with the project since the transition days, has said the two organisations and their needs were quite different.

Former regional council IT boss John Holley said the latest development with Ateed showed poor decision making by the transition agency and Auckland Council.

The council has not responded to questions about the Ateed move.

Switching system

• Flagship council system loses business to faster and cheaper alternative
• Alternative system operated by Auckland Transport costing $2.2m
• Fresh blow for council system costing hundreds of millions of dollars.

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