Immigration IT project blowout hits NZ$56.7 million

Cabinet has approved further capital funding taking the total project cost to NZ$136.7 million.

A new online immigration system will now cost New Zealand taxpayers NZ$56.7 million more than originally planned after Cabinet agreed to NZ$28.4 million of extra funding.

The Immigration Global Management System (IGMS) was to have cost NZ$80 million but is now expected to cost NZ$136.7 million, according to a select committee paper.

Due to delays of up to two years in the roll-out of online capability and the retention of old applications, savings from the new system are also behind schedule.

"Benefits of NZ$17.4 million per annum remain ultimately realisable from 2018/19," the paper says.

"As part of Budget 2015, Cabinet approved additional capital of NZ$28.414 million for Immigration Global Management System, to provide a platform to achieve 80 percent of applications online and the remaining 20 percent via digitised applications," the paper says.

"This will enable 100 percent of applications to be digitised which will improve the customer experience, the efficient handling of applications and enable global processing management."

The new funding will also provide automation of triage, a business rules engine and enhanced management monitoring, controls and reporting.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said it does not expect to require any further funding to complete the project.

A business case is being developed to allow the draw-down of the additional NZ$28.4 million.