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Red flag raised: Waikato Regional Council goes dark on 'Project Reboot'

Red flag raised: Waikato Regional Council goes dark on 'Project Reboot'

Council stonewalls media enquiries about troubled $11.5 million core systems replacement project.

Waikato Regional Council is replacing its core systems.

Waikato Regional Council is replacing its core systems.

Credit: Google

Waikato Regional Council is refusing to release minutes of meetings or to even comment on the progress of its $11.5 million core software replacement project.

The council had, until last year, been fairly open about the progress of the project, dubbed "Project Reboot", even posting KPMG review reports to its agendas and minutes web pages.

Not any more. 

Project Reboot, which was supposed to go live in two months time, was based around Infor's Cloudsuite Public Sector software, which was being to be developed and rolled out for most aspects of council administration.

Signs of stress on the project's budget emerged last year, with a budget increase of $1 million from $10.5 million to $11.5 million as well as a change to the schedule of the first phase of the rollout.

One KPMG review conducted in November 2019 found seven high risk issues, defined as "potential showstoppers". 

A later report sighted, however, found only three: resource and progress management; cost management, and; transition and support.

The council is now refusing Reseller News' requests to release further reports being received and discussed in meetings now held with the public excluded.

The council did release one document, a cover page to a project update dated 25 February, 2021, which was delivered to the council's risk and insurance committee by chief financial officer Janine Becker.

That  rated the overall project as red on the commonly used "RAG" scale, standing for red, amber, green. Red is a sign that progress is unfavourable or that problems are being encountered.

The council also refused to answer Reseller News' questions about why the project was rated red, what the problems were, about impacts on the project schedule and budget and more.

The council provided two grounds to not answer the questions, both related to the potential to prejudice commercial negotiations.

Given the project was contracted to Infor in 2019, exactly what might be left to negotiate is unclear.

Infor was also considered a contender to replace the shared council regional information system IRIS, developed by Datacom and now scheduled for a major makeover to turn it into a cloud service.


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