NSW Trade's SAP costs expected to rise

The cost of implementing the second phase of the New South Wales Department of Trade's SAP payroll system will be more than the original AU$4 million allocated, due to a deliberate delay in the rollout.

The New South Wales Department of Trade and Investment has indicated that costs for the implementation of the SAP Business ByDesign systems across the department will rise due to a deliberate delay in rolling out the second phase of the project from June to October this year.

The department announced in July 2012 that it would be consolidating the legacy ERP systems from 16 agencies and 8,500 employees to an SAP cloud platform using Business ByDesign.

In a Budget Estimates hearing in August , the department's director general Mark Paterson said that the implementation of phase one, which brought finance, procurement, projects, and assets onto the new system in December 2012, and HR, payroll, and time-sheeting onto the new system in March 2013, had been very successful, completed on budget at just under AU$10 million.

In answers to supplementary questions (PDF), the department confirmed that the cost for phase two would be higher than expected, after it decided to delay that phase of the project, which will bring the Art Gallery of NSW, the Museum of Sydney, the State Library of NSW, and the Powerhouse Museum onto the new system, from June until the end of October to avoid end-of-financial-year workload issues.

The original allocation of funding was AU$4 million, but the department said it also has a contingency amount of AU$2.8 million available.

It also wasn't complete smooth sailing for phase one of the ByDesign system, with three formal complaints registered with the department from businesses that saw a delay in the processing of their invoices. Elam Communications, Nook Studios, and Fodder Coordinator for the Coonabarabran Bushfire Victims all lodged complaints with delays in payments as a result of the implementation of the new system in March.

There were also 5,334 enquiries through the shared services centre in 2013. A small number of department staff was also reported to have experienced delays in the payment of claims outside the normal two to three business days.