"Shut the Gate!"
Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 3:03PM
Bill Barclay

The last post needs to be viewed in the context of the imbroglio that our Council is in regarding its recently departed IT Manager and his Deputy. Forensic experts have apparently been tearing the place apart looking for evidence that the ex-staff were up to no good and enriching themselves at TCDC expense. Whether or not this is true will no doubt play out in the public arena in due course. I certainly have no view on the matter even though information has been supplied to me from various sources (including rather senior staff!) that has only served to add to the confusion.

What is of far greater concern to me is that prize winning aside, the TCDC IT experience appears on every level to have been a disaster from day one. The most recent manifestation of this state of affairs was the locally sourced Track24 Project Management Program that one way or another led to the Whitianga Sports Complex financial disaster – though it was not the only factor by any means. But constant reports emanating from the Castle of software that simply does not perform to specification have been a feature of the shreds passed to me over the last three years. My own experience with the website and documents has confirmed this through mere observation of the situation.

As is often the case, the naivety of top management in regard to IT matters generally has been an evident and continuing factor throughout. This has surely been the case in any divergence being revealed in the manner in which this division of Council has been managed. Just as financial malfeasance amongst staff handling large sums through debtors, creditors and payroll ledgers results from over reliance on opaque systems, and trust, so are gaps in IT management exploited when opportunities arise.

Shutting the gate after the horse has bolted is not the answer in either case.

 

 

 

Article originally appeared on BillBarcBlog (http://billbarclay.co.nz/).
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