Tuesday, 05 December 2017 19:28

TechnologyOne, Brisbane City Council settlement brings acrimonious dispute to an end Featured

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A very public and ugly stoush between Brisbane-based enterprise software firm TechnologyOne and Brisbane City Council over TechnologyOne’s delivery of a Local Government Systems programme has now been settled in private.

TechnologyOne (ASX:TNE) has announced, in a statement to the ASX, that it and the council have resolved the dispute on a “without fault basis”.

Despite the long-running war of words and ugly dispute over several months, Tuesday’s brief ASX statement gave no details about the settlement.

“In good faith, both parties have now resolved their differences on a without fault basis. The terms of the settlement are confidential,” the ASX statement says.

TechnologyOne said, however, that there would be no impact on its earnings as a result of the settlement.

The dispute erupted earlier this year after the Brisbane City Council decided to call off a 10-year, $122 million contract awarded to TechnologyOne in 2015 to replace 13 outdated customer service systems.

The council subsequently issued an ambit claim for loss and damages in excess of $50 million, claiming that TechnologyOne had not delivered on the contract.

This prompted TechnologyOne to announce it would be issuing a counter-claim in excess of $50 million for what it said was wrongful termination of the contract.

TechnologyOne chairman Adrian Di Marco said in a statement to the ASX at the time that the firm had expected the "wrongful termination" of the contract.

Di Marco said he personally found the Council's behaviour disingenuous and unprofessional and the Council had "made it clear through both its actions and its statements that it did not want to complete this project, and was endeavouring to engineer a termination of the contract for breach”.

In August, Brisbane City Council was asked to provide details of an independent report on the IT project with TechnologyOne that it had cancelled.

Di Marco was quoted in media reports as saying that the Council was in possession of the report, and "if it’s truly damning TechnologyOne, then publish it".

He claimed that he knew the report clearly blamed the Council for the lack of progress in the deal, and "they did not know their business process and they put their B-team on the job".

Di Marco also accused the Council of trying to hide the report and choosing arbitration after calling off the $122 million deal to replace its business systems.

“They have made it clear to me that this will never go to court and what they are doing is that by going to arbitration things will never be made public, the findings and the settlement will not be made public,” Di Marco said.

“If they were really genuine they would have gone to arbitration before they cancelled the contract.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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