Queensland drags IBM to court over payroll debacle

IBM believes the court case is only to make it a "political scapegoat".
Written by Michael Lee, Contributor

The Queensland government is beginning to seek compensation from IBM after the company failed to deliver as expected on the state's health payroll system.

According to the Australian Financial Review, a statement of claim has been lodged with the Supreme Court. This course of action is in contrast to the former state government's handling of the issue in which Anna Bligh sought to settle the case outside of court.

In 2011, IBM buried the hatchet with the Queensland government, with the company's Australian managing director Andrew Stevens telling ZDNet Australia that it was "behind us and behind Queensland".

Yet the matter was flagged to be dragged through the courts after a change in government saw a new commission of inquiry conducted earlier this year. It found that IBM should have been disqualified from the payroll tender early on, and that a former employee had given IBM preferential treatment.

IBM had disputed the findings from the commission of inquiry, stating that in some cases the government's own inability to clearly articulate its requirements and scope made the successful delivery of the project impossible from the beginning.

The company is continuing to fight the government's case, telling Business Insider that the court case appeared to be an effort by the current government to make it a "political scapegoat".

"In the process of unjustifiably shifting blame to IBM, the government seeks to evade the deal it struck years ago to settle its disputes with IBM. IBM will defend itself vigorously against any proceedings commenced by the Queensland Government."

In the meantime, the state government is pursuing current and former public servants that may have contributed the the payroll disaster.

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