Botched software procurement costs Oxford taxpayer additional £0.25m

Extracts from report present [1] to Labour-run Oxford City Council's Cabinet meeting today shows lack of leadership:

"Recommend to Council the approval of a capital budget for the additional expenditure of £264,296 required to complete the project...

"1.  The Housing and Asset Management System (HAMS) project was approved in May 2018 and Aareon UK Ltd appointed as supplier. The current approved budget for the project is £2.023m.

"2. As part of the contract award, Aareon were to provide a fully integrated, holistic housing management system which covered the main aspects of housing including rents, repairs, assets, tenancy management, anti-social behaviour and case management. Aareon were also required to develop their software to include Choice Based Lettings, Allocations, Homelessness and Housing Options which at the time of the contract award was not within their core system...

"13.  The approved total budget for this project is £2.023m, authorised by Cabinet on 12 August 2020. This was an increase of £423k on £1.600m, which was to account for increased project team staff costs as a result of delays. This budget is now considered insufficient to cover the additional cost impact of the decision to extend the project timeline once more."

Says Green Councillor Craig Simmons, "This is a very serious matter. Whilst I understand the challenges of procuring software,  the Council simply cannot afford repeated cost overruns (amounting to a 43% increase on the original project budget) in the current climate. Almost three years on from when the software was procured we still don't have a functioning system. The report to Cabinet is brutally honest, the Council leadership - as well as the software partner - have made mistakes."

 

[1] https://mycouncil.oxford.gov.uk/documents/g5656/Public%20reports%20pack%20Wednesday%2010-Feb-2021%2018.00%20Cabinet.pdf?T=10

(relevant report starts Page 333)

FMI: Cllr Craig Simmons 0773 980 3047

10th February 2021


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