Many Qld Health payroll claims are 'completely incorrect': IBM

Accepting that it was partly to blame for the Queensland Health payroll bungle, IBM has said that the state also failed to hold up its end of the deal, and that many of the findings are contrary to evidence presented.
Written by Michael Lee, Journalist on

IBM has hit back at the report issued by the Queensland Health Payroll Commission of Inquiry, stating that it does not agree with many of the findings presented.

The report from the commission claims that IBM should have been disqualified from the project, which saw thousands of staff being underpaid, overpaid, or not paid at all.

The resultant cost to taxpayers from the payroll project has been estimated by the Queensland government as AU$1.2 billion — a figure that IBM believes is "completely incorrect".

"IBM's fees of AU$25.7 million accounted for less than 2 percent of the total amount. The balance of costs is made up of work streams which were never part of IBM's scope," the company said in a statement.

IBM will not go into the specifics of the report, but it believes that many of the findings go against the evidence presented during the inquiry. While it also accepted that some of the project's failings were its fault, it argued that it was not solely to blame.

"When the system went live, it was hindered primarily through business process and data migration issues outside of IBM's contractual and practical control."

It also pushed the blame on the state, highlighting that the inquiry's own report also pointed out that it had failed to uphold its responsibilities.

"The successful delivery of the project was rendered near-impossible by the state failing to properly articulate its requirements or commit to a fixed scope."

Those within the state who were responsible for the failure now face possible punishment, with Health Minister Lawrence Springborg stating that it will pursue current and former public servants to dish out disciplinary action or refer them to the Crime and Misconduct Commission.

IBM continues to fall in the state's sights, however, with Springborg stating that it may consider blacklisting the tech giant and prevent it from being considered in future tenders.


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