Feeds

Australian State launches IBM probe

SAP-based payroll system said to need $AUD245m of repair work

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

IBM's dealings with the Australian state of Queensland will be the subject of an inquiry with the powers of a Royal Commission, after an SAP-based payroll system implemented in part by big blue failed so badly returning it to working order is expected to cost $AUD245m, with the whole project costing $AUD1.25bn.

Queensland is Australia's fastest-growing state, in terms of population. In early 2012 a Labor government was utterly demolished by the rival Liberal National Party, which won 78 of 89 seats in the sole chamber of parliament.

One reason for the crushing victory was messes in the State's health system, a service seen as a key issue in a State that attracts many retirees and young families.

Among those messes was a payroll system that saw staff paid incorrectly, or not at all. Some nurses were paid more than they were owed, but were told it was not possible to repay the extra money. The State government later docked wages to recoup the overpayments, a deeply unpopular move as some had been overpaid by 25% and did not enjoy the resulting cash flow hit.

Public anger about the payroll system has now reached the point at which Queensland's Premier, “Can-Do” Campbell Newman, has called a Commission of Inquiry with the powers of a Royal Commission – meaning it can compel testimony – to look into the mess.

One of the terms of reference is to “Analyse the contractual arrangements between the State of Queensland and IBM Australia Ltd and determine why and to what extend the contract prices of the Queensland Health Payroll system increased over time.”

Newman has signalled an intention to claw back cash from IBM and others found to have dudded the State. “The Inquiry will … fully examine the implementation of the Health Payroll and may be used to assist with the potential recovery of losses from any external party,” Newman said in a canned statement.

That statement asserts" At least $1.253 billion will be needed to fix the system," which appears to be a misrepresentation, as a document said to be KMPG's report (PDF)into the state of the payroll system hosted at Delimiter puts the work required to fix the system at $AUD245m and the total cost at the higher figure.

A spokesperson has told The Reg "IBM will actively participate in the full scope of the Commission of Inquiry." SAP is yet to respond to our inquiries. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.