Fujitsu wins £9m contract hike for Oracle HR system running nearly 3 years late at Northern Ireland Education Authority

Nice work if you can get it

Fujitsu has been awarded a £9.2m contract extension by the Northern Ireland Education Authority for changes to the implementation of an Oracle HR and payroll system that is already nearly three years late.

The project – first known as the EA Integrated Financial Management Information System, now dubbed EA One Project – began in 2015 with a £20m contract award to the Japanese supplier. But, according to a tender award notice published last week, the authority said the new award was necessary to "facilitate functionality changes to effectively meet schools' requirements, data migration issues due to the complexity of the variations in employee terms and conditions, and project delays due to COVID-19 lockdowns."

The notice continued: "This modification will enable the continuation of the existing single contractor managed service arrangement which includes the supply of a broad range of computer and related services, information technology consultancy services and the supply of computer hardware, software and associated products.

"The systems and services provided via the current contract have been uniquely configured to reflect the varying requirements of the Education Authority and its associated bodies."

The EA One website said the project would produce a "single and integrated finance, procurement, recruitment, HR and payroll system which will make processes more efficient, enhance end-user experience and deliver improved reporting capabilities."

While finance, procurement, and recruitment systems were already live, the HR and Payroll system was expected in the academic year 2021/22.

But that was not the original plan. In a statement on its website, Fujitsu said the contract started November 2015 with a project implementation phase followed by a 10-year support contract.

"The Fujitsu shared platform will go live in financial year 2016 for EA. There will be a phased go-live for the payrolls and associated HR components beginning in October 2017. The project implementation is planned to complete in October '18 when a full managed support contact will be in place," the company said in a statement.

The system was due to be designed on a shared infrastructure platform using the "multi-organisational features of the Oracle eBusiness Suite."

The Education Authority has been contacted for a statement, as has Fujitsu.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland's Land and Property Services has awarded a contract to IT service provider Version1 Software for £7m over a maximum of four years.

The contract covers enterprise architecture services, design, build and implementation of an enterprise application integration platform, implementation of a master data management model, data management services, software development and support services, and more, the award notice said.

The deal comes on top of an agreement to pay Fujitsu up to £87m to rollover support for an Oracle HR system that dates back to 2006 in a contract awarded without competition. Land and Property Services said that its £185m strategic partnership with Fujitsu, which initially went to tender in 2003, came to an end on 29 March 2021 and that it had "become unavoidably necessary to continue to maintain the existing systems and services beyond this point." ®

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