Edinburgh Council’s new IT system is experiencing delays of up to 18-months, according to the Edinburgh Evening News. A damning report published by the Committee for Governance, Risk, and Best Value reveals details of weekly “critical failures” – understood to include a loss of internet and email – as well as an inability to follow-through on promised savings of £6m-a-year. It also documents accusations against Canadian firm CGI, who were tasked with delivering the IT system, for having “underperformed in their contractual commitments.”
It reads: “Since the contract commenced CGI have underperformed… Transformation programmes have missed the original delivery dates, and in some cases the revised delivery date and this has meant that Council has been unable to realise the benefits and/or savings envisaged.
“There have been numerous senior management meetings with CGI regarding their overall performance and there have been several legal letters on the same subject. On every occasion, CGI, have committed to improve their overall performance and there have been some improvements but not at the pace the contract specifies or the Council requires.”
Whilst the Committee acknowledges that CGI’s performance is showing signs of improvement, it is not taking place “at the pace the contract specifies or the Council requires.” Subsequently, the Council has been forced to revise their initial programme, and is holding CGI liable to financial compensation.
Labour councillor Gordon Munro told the Evening News: “The report says that’s not happening. It’s under-performing and still to realise the benefits and savings envisaged… It’s an issue there and it’s a risk for us because that saving is part of budget planning.”
Conservative councillor Joanna Mowat, who serves as the Committee’s conveyor, also told the Evening News that the ‘fiasco’ had kept her up at night.
“It’s disappointing that we are having severe teething problems – the new head of IT has come in and been tasked with getting to grips with this,” she said. “It’s the infrastructure the council rests upon, if this doesn’t work, it’s as serious as the buildings and having a roof over our heads.”
Liberal Democrat councillor Kevin Lang said that the report showed a “shocking” level of underperformance from CGI, “at the centre of the contract that’s in place.”
A spokesperson from the Council confirmed: “Delays have been experienced across several ICT infrastructure projects since the beginning of the contract with CGI, which we are working hard with them to address.”