Australian ERP software vendor TechnologyOne has escalated a long-running row with Brisbane City Council, threatening to sling an AU$50 million sueball at the city.
The $120-million-plus contract at the centre of the dispute is to replace 13 of the council's systems with a single “Local Government Systems” project.
When the contract was awarded in 2015, the go-live date was set for March this year, a date that was extended to January 2018 after the council asked for variations to functionality last September.
The delays and contract variations added $60 million to the estimated cost of the project, and in December the council put the project on hold. That halt was lifted in May, but only because the council fired off a show-cause notice giving TechnologyOne 28 days to explain why the contract shouldn't be cancelled.
At the time, the company said its response led the council to advise the contract would stand, but on June 20, yet another show-cause dropped.
In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, TechnologyOne said “The June Notice to Show Cause covers many of the same issues in the May Notice to Show Cause that BCC did not act upon. This Notice also ignores TechnologyOne's bona fide requests for extensions of time under the contract due to BCC's conduct”.
Yesterday, TechnologyOne issued another ASX statement claiming it's provided an “exhaustive” response to the council's complaints and complaining that the council's business processes are “poorly defined”, “its process catalogue is deficient”, and that in spite of commissioning and receiving an independent review of the project, the council hasn't acted on that review's recommendations.
The company claims the council's revision to contract scope, and its subsequent conduct, are the cause of the delays, and dismisses the council's show-cause notices as an attempt to get out from under the contract.
The statement to the ASX offers the council a back-away option if it pays its outstanding invoices, which TechnologyOne says would be cheaper than going to court. ®
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