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Landonline computer blowout must be probed

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John Luxton must front up to the Landonline computer debacle and accept an inquiry into the project, says Labour lands spokesperson Jim Sutton.

"There are serious questions being asked in the infotech business about how the bulk of this project was contracted to EDS when it bid well over budget," Mr Sutton says. "Other participants in the tender have expressed surprise at the price.

"Those questions are becoming more urgent now that the estimated total cost of the project has blown out to $150 million, against the original budget of $95 million."

Landonline is a Land Information New Zealand project to put land title and survey data into a computer database, with EDS the major contractor. John Luxton is the Minister for LINZ.

"The whole project has been marked by miscalculations by LINZ. Ministers have ticked it off at every step when even casual scrutiny would have rung alarm bells.

"It is staggering that LINZ, with Government approval, chose FileNet software for the new system on PriceWaterhouseCoopers' recommendation without realising that PriceWaterhouseCoopers is a global partner of FileNet.

"It is beyond belief that LINZ says cost was 'a later consideration' when they selected FileNet.

"Now prospective users are being asked to pay a $7000 fee for access to Landonline, apparently for the use of FileNet. LINZ admits the cost will prevent many customers using the service.

"It is time for John Luxton to re-enter Earth's atmosphere and answer some hard questions about the Landonline cost blow-out. The project is bigger than Incis and it's looking like Incis all over again."

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