Unsourced Dominion Allegations Incorrect, says Minister

  • Bill Birch

An unsourced allegation in today's Dominion newspaper that the Crown still owes IBM $40 million under the INCIS contract had no foundation whatsoever in fact, Finance Minister Sir William Birch said today.

"The Crown has faithfully and fully honoured its obligations under its side of the INCIS contract. IBM, after delivering Increment 1 of INCIS, has walked away from its contract obligation to deliver Increments 2 and 3.

"Nothing whatsoever owing under the contract for work delivered by IBM creates a obligation leaving anything like $40m yet to be paid. The Crown does not accept the allegation in the Dominion article.

"The Crown notes with concern that the Dominion's allegations are presented as if they were fact ascertained with the help of independent and disinterested parties, but the source of those ‘facts' is withheld from the public.

"What we are seeing appears to be a dummy run by the Dominion of claims IBM may seek to make in court with the aim of mitigating they owe the taxpayers of New Zealand for letting the Crown and Police down on INCIS.
"In that case, there is no way it as fair to the public of New Zealand to conceal the source. It is disingenuous in the extreme to present these as independently ascertained amounts outstanding under the contract.

"Whether or not IBM is the source, it is essential that the public be told who makes such allegations, so that people can judge what spin may have been put on them by the interests concealed under this morning's anonymity."