Accenture denies British Gas 'millions of errors' billing system claim

'Exceptions' not glitches


Accenture has hit back at British Gas by saying allegations that a billing system, implemented by the consultancy firm, was riddled with “millions of errors” were “inaccurate”.

As we reported yesterday, a preliminary appeal brought by Accenture against British Gas was rejected on 2 August, after a High Court judge ruled that a £182m lawsuit connected to the failure of a new billing system shouldn’t be obstructed.

The case, first brought by Centrica-owned British Gas in May 2008, will now be heard in court next year.

Accenture told The Register this morning that British Gas’s lawsuit “makes no such claim” about the “millions of errors” in the SAP-based Jupiter billing system put in place by the consultants in 2005.

“The lawsuit does address ‘exceptions’ which were designed to identify bills that required a human to review or approve them, but these are not errors,” said an Accenture spokesman.

“It is important to understand that this was just a preliminary issues hearing on matters of contract construction and there has been no final determination of this case, Accenture is confident that Centrica’s claim is baseless, and we continue to believe that Accenture will prevail when the factual issues are examined in detail at trial in October 2011,” he added.

Accenture reaffirmed its claim against the lawsuit that states “problems… resulted from Centrica’s mismanagement after it took over the system”.

Implementation of the system in 2005 “met all contractual requirements” and was “delivered on-time and on-budget”, the company claimed.

“Centrica signed off on the design of the system and conducted extensive testing before formally accepting and using it. Centrica operated the system for over two years before starting the Court process and it is still using the Jupiter system today.”

British Gas is seeking multi-million pound damages for the installation of the billing system, which it claimed “caused huge disruption for the company and its customers”.

The trial will begin on 3 October 2011. ®

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