INDEPENDENT NEWS

INCIS: Once Again The Consultants Are Smiling

Published: Tue 10 Aug 1999 03:02 PM
INCIS: ONCE AGAIN, THE CONSULTANTS ARE SMILING
While Finance Minister Sir William Birch is trying to lay the blame for the INCIS debacle at the feet of IBM and Labour try to lay it on the government, there's one group who's smiling all the way to the bank, says MP Gilbert Myles.
"Once again, the consultants have got the cream off the top of this project, and it won't be they who are involved in a messy law suit if that is where this debacle ends," Mr Myles said.
"It's all very well for Sir William to posture about IBM's share of the contract cost, which is about half the $104 million total. But what of the other half, said to have been spent on hardware and 'costs within the Police'? I understand that a good portion of those costs were consultants -- for instance $6 million paid to lawyers to draw up the contract which now looks like it will be fought over. A contract which runs to around 4000 pages -- that's $1500 a page.
"It doesn't say much for the quality of that legal advice if IBM can walk away as it has done, and if the question of liability is as clouded as it appears to be. Surely the situations which have arisen are covered somewhere in the 4000 pages? Perhaps it's just that no one can find the
appropriate clause in all the expensive-sounding legalese.
"And which consultant advised the Police to demand that IBM immediately stop writing the system to run on the OS/2 operating system and switch immediately to Windows NT? I'm told that added $12 million to the cost and was entirely unnecessary because somewhere in the 4000 page contract is a clause requiring IBM to do that anyway, at no additional charge --
but only once the development work was complete," Mr Myles said.
"Rather than focusing attention solely on IBM, perhaps the Minister and the Commissioner might begin to account for this mess by releasing the names of the consultants employed to advise the Police. I suspect we'd see some familiar names amongst the list."
Mr Myles said he supported Labour Police spokesman George Hawkins' call for a Commission of Inquiry into INCIS.
ENDS

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