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Lawyers only winners from INCIS debacle

Labour 2000 web site

A long and costly court battle can be expected following the Government's decision to initiate legal proceedings against IBM over the collapsed INCIS contract, Labour police spokesperson George Hawkins said today.

"A legal scrap was almost inevitable, given the National Government's appalling track record on crisis management.

"I initiated a select committee inquiry into INCIS in March 1997. Later that year Cabinet was warned in the Andersen Consulting report that there were serious problems with INCIS and the budget had blown out.

"Incredibly the situation was allowed to deteriorate further. Over the past few months, Jenny Shipley's highly touted ministerial action team failed to reach an agreement with IBM to complete increments two and three of INCIS. It appears National was more interested in keeping the lid on the problem until after the election, than in finding a solution.

"The relationship between IBM and the Government has been completely mishandled. The only winners in this whole sorry saga, will be the lawyers.

"The incoming Labour Government will be left with the job of providing the police with the information technology they need, while the courts sort out who is to blame for the INCIS breakdown. Labour is demanding a full briefing from Sir William Birch so that we can do our best to protect taxpayers' interests," George Hawkins said.

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