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Hundred-million Kiwi Oracle project on hold after Deloitte review


From the book "I've been thinking" (1996) by New Zealand politician Richard Prebble:

"The Post Office told me they were having terrible problems tracking telephone lines ... They found an excellent program in Sweden which the Swedes were prepared to sell them for $2m .... So the managers decided to budget $1m for translating into English and another $1m for contingencies.

... But, as the general manager explained, it had turned out to be more expensive than the contingency budget allowed and they needed another $7m

"How much", I asked, "have you spent on it so far?"

"Thirty-seven million dollars" was the reply.

"Why don't we cancel the programme?" I asked

"How can we cancel a programme that has cost $37m?" they asked

"Do you believe the programme will ever work?" I asked

"No, not properly"

"Then write me a letter recommending its cancellation and I will sign it"

The relief was visible. I signed the letter, but I knew I needed new managers."

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