Tuesday, 25 October 2016 15:46

Census 2016: IBM bid to settle with govt over stuff-up Featured

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IBM is trying to work out a settlement with the Australian government over its role in the 2016 census debacle, a senior executive of the company said on Tuesday.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Kerry Purcell, the managing director of IBM Australia and New Zealand, told a parliamentary inquiry into the census stuff-up, that its sub-contractor Nextgen Networks was mainly responsible for the site failing on census night. Vocus Communications was also blamed.

IBM had accused the companies of being derelict in its submission made to the inquiry before oral hearings began.

Both Nextgen and Vocus have defended their roles in submissions made to the inquiry.

The census was supposed to be held mainly online on 9 August but the website was taken offline at 7.30pm after what was claimed to be a distributed denial of service attack. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has provided no proof to back up this claim.

Purcell told the inquiry that IBM, as the main contractor, accepted the responsibility for the failure of the census website and had started talks with the Treasury Department to hammer out a confidential settlement.

“We are looking to constructively resolve the matter as soon as possible,” Mr. Purcell said. “I am confident we’ll be able to achieve some kind of outcome in the very near future."

The inquiry is due to submit its report by 24 November.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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