Treasurer Kevin Foley had been embarrassed by revelations of further major problems with the management of a major IT project in his Treasury Department.
Evidence given in June this year to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee by Under Treasurer Jim Wright had revealed that the original $22.5 million budget for the Revenue SA Information Systems to Enable Compliance (RISTEC) IT project had blown out by an extra $20.5 million, Liberal Member of the Legislative Council, Rob Lucas, said today.
“Further evidence from Mr Wright today revealed that the Government had had to stop negotiations with the preferred bidder because of an inability to finalise an agreement. Mr Wright indicated that the department was now negotiating with the second preferred bidder to try to reach an agreement,” Mr Lucas said.
“It needs to be noted that this project first commenced in 2002 and was originally meant to have concluded by June 2006. However, the latest estimated completion date was 2011 and even that might be further delayed by the recent change in negotiating parties.
“Mr Wright was also unable to give an assurance today there would not be a further cost blowout in the RISTEC project and, in fact, he concluded:
“We do not expect a big escalation from here.”
“This is obviously a major embarrassment for Mr Foley who boasts continually that he is a good financial manager and has often been critical of other departments, like Health, for cost blowouts and poor financial management of projects.
“It is clear that taxpayers will have to pick up the extra bill of at least $20.5 million to pay for the blowout and Mr Foley’s slack financial management,” he said.