Judge sides with IBM in Qld Health payroll lawsuit


blog Remember how the Queensland Health massively botched its SAP-based payroll systems upgrade, to the tune of more than $1 billion? Remember how the Queensland State Government then banned the project’s prime contractor IBM from tendering for future contracts with its departments and agencies (despite evidence showing that most of the blame lay with the Government itself)? And then remember when the Queensland Government sued IBM over the issue, despite having signed an existing waiver of liability? Yeah, good times.

Well, this week it appears as though Queensland’s actions have blown up in its face. iTnews reports (we recommend you click here for the full article) that the judge in charge of the case in Queensland has thrown the State Government’s case out of court. The site reports:

“Justice Martin today sided with the IT giant, agreeing that a 2010 waiver of liability signed by both parties was ‘properly constructed’ and the state’s latest attempt to drag IBM through the courts was therefore legally invalid.”

To be honest, it’s hard to find this move surprising. The Queensland Government did essentially waive its right to sue IBM over the Queensland Health payroll systems debacle some years ago. All the Court has done here is remind the state of that fact.

In my opinion, the Queensland Government has demonstrated gross incompetence and even stupidity all the way throughout this controversial project. Every investigation into the project has found deep problems relating to project governance within the Department of Health and other Queensland Government departments. IBM has not been completely blameless, but it is true that at least the company has acted smartly in protecting its own interests. The Queensland Government has hardly done even that.

Image credit: Patrick, Creative Commons


  1. I feel sorry for the rank & file IT workers in the Qld government, because they’ll almost certainly be lumbered with at least some of the blame and most of the fallout from this debacle, which was probably created at the pointy-haired level…

  2. It would definitely be at the pointy hair level. That doesn’t completely absolve IBM though, they took full advantage of government idiocy.

  3. I have worked on many State and Federal government IT contracts during my long career. I have seen the massive wastage.

    IBM should turn around and sue the QLD government for malicious use of their software and breach of contract.

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