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Southwark council sues IBM

Pays public cash to lawyers to get it back from Big Blue

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A London local authority is taking legal action against IBM over a software solution it claims is not fit for purpose.

The London Borough of Southwark has issued a writ against the company over the performance of a master data management system, developed by another company, for the cleaning up of information on several databases. It was meant to bring the data together onto one system, removing duplication and ensuring its accuracy.

A spokesperson for the council told GC News that the system did not work and has slowed its progress in updating its other systems.

"We are suing IBM over a matter concerning a software solution which we purchased through IBM and was unfortunately found not to be functionally fit for Southwark's purposes," the spokesperson said.

"We did try and work with IBM over an 18 month period to get the problems resolved. However, IBM was unable to find a resolution to the problems that did not involve further significant financial outlay on Southwark's behalf. As the product was bought using public money, we had no option but to try to reclaim the money spent from IBM, as a duty to protect public funds.

"We sincerely hope this matter will be resolved and it should be made clear that this issue does in no way reflect the normally high standard of products provided by IBM."

She added that the amount it paid IBM is confidential.

A spokesperson for IBM commented: "Claims asserted in this case have no merit and we are strongly defending the allegations made in the legal proceedings."

This article was originally published at Kable.

Kable's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

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