The Government has awarded a £5.5m contract to Ernst & Young to oversee a £63m project, led by a Deloitte subsidiary, to build a new IT system.
Announced last year, the ‘Integrated Technology Solution’ is the Government’s largest-ever IT project.
Ministers and civil servants say it will transform the way that suppliers and customers interact with the Government by automating invoice, centralising asset and inventory systems, and supporting mobile working.
The project has already attracted criticism after the Government said last month that its budget was more than double the initial £28m estimate.
However, Ministers say that costs escalated when it fully analysed the scope of the programme, working along a Deloitte-owned business called Keytree, which was recently announced as the main delivery partner.
In particular, the Government conceded that it had over-estimated the ability of existing departments to staff the programme. It said much of the extra cost would be spent on backfilling existing jobs or employing more people to join the project.
The budget increase has been questioned by Scrutiny, who criticised the Government’s “weakness in its original assessment”.
The Government say that there is "no guarantee" that the ITS project will not go over its new £63m budget.
Now EY, at the end of a 12-month procurement process, has been appointed as programme manager to “coordinate and prioritise resources; and manage programme reporting, costs, and risks. They will be also be responsible for ensuring that Keytree is “delivering to time, cost, and quality criteria”.
The cost of the three-year £5.45m contract comes out of the £63m budget.
Pictured: The Government say that many of their systems have not been updated since 2005 so "not doing anything" is not an option.
The Government’s Chief Operating Officer, John Quinn, said: “Throughout the tender process, Ernst & Young demonstrated experience of managing projects as complex as the ITS programme.
“They also demonstrated their experience with the technology. These qualities mean that they will have the experience and the knowledge to ensure successful delivery of the programme.
“As part of their role, EY will also take a proactive approach to developing capability of Government staff and will help us to develop employees’ skills and knowledge to enable us to become increasingly self-sufficient in the management of complex programmes.
Mr Quinn added that EY had committed to “social value initiatives” that would create additional benefits for islanders.
“EY will work with a range of organisations to provide work and training opportunities, apprenticeship schemes and support to local businesses and voluntary organisations,” he said.
“These initiatives include recruitment of two unemployed islanders into the EY Jersey office over the contract term; support for four students to attend the EY Business Academy, where they can attend business skills sessions and gain work experience; and the establishment of on-island business clinics, to provide support to local businesses and voluntary organisations.”
EY has won has won a number of major Government contracts in the last few years.
In August 2018, it secured a two-year contract worth £2m to “help modernise public finances” by “carrying out root-and-branch reform of the Government’s outdated finance system”.
Their role then was to develop a new organisational structure and digital strategy for the Government, who say the work provided the foundations for the ITS programme to be built on.
In her recently published ‘audit plan update’, Comptroller and Auditor General Lynn Pamment, who scrutinises public spending, said that she would be auditing the ITS programme this year and next.
Pictured: Comptroller & Auditor General Lynn Pamment has said she will audit the ITS programme this year and next.
The watchdog's review will assess its value for money and corporate governance.
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