Bankrupt city council hires Oracle on £10M professional services deal

Bankrupt city council hires Oracle on £10M professional services deal

The deal comes amidst Birmingham City Council's continued efforts to get their failed rollout of Fusion fit for purpose.

Published on 9th July 2024

Troubled Birmingham City Council, which was declared effectively bankrupt last year owing in part to a disastrous Oracle implementation, has awarded the tech giant £10 million ($12.8 million) for additional professional services.

In a contract award notice published late last week, the council said the deal – worth £9.987 million – started on June 4 and is set to end on September 3, 2026.

Birmingham City Council, Europe’s largest local authority, failed to enter the new financial year in April with auditable accounting software after a disastrous implementation of Oracle Fusion, which went live nearly two years late and pushed the budget from £20 million ($26 million) to £40 million ($51 million).

The total cost of the project could now be as high as £131 million ($163 million) as it plans to completely reimplement the software “out-of-the-box” after efforts to build a customized solution hit the buffers.

The council initially failed to implement security and audit features in the software, meaning that it has no way of telling if fraud took place between April 2022 and September 2023.

A number of companies have benefited from advisory roles in helping the council recover the project. They include Oracle Consulting, Gartner, PwC, and KPMG, as well as original partners Insight Direct and Evosys.

In addition to the new Oracle Professional Services award, there is more work on the way for the tech sector as the council prepares to reimplement Oracle while it also struggles to get the current system fit for purpose.

The council is set to launch a procurement for a new Oracle delivery partner to “scale, deploy and work with the Council to implement the initial solution by March 2026 and run the service for a further three to five years.”

In May, the council’s Finance and Resources committee heard the plan to reimplement Oracle would require significant business change. The committee was assured the council would use “stage gates” to control the rollout and that “there was a tighter governance process in place this time.”


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