Works blowout blamed on fail­ings

Central Leader - - News - By Heather McCracken

Mul­ti­ple sys­tems fail­ings are to blame for a $13 mil­lion bud­get blowout in a ma­jor road­works project.

Auck­land City Coun­cil has re­leased a doc­u­ment of “learn­ings” from the Project Green­lane de­ba­cle.

It comes af­ter chief ex­ec­u­tive David Rankin re­fused to pub­licly re­lease an in­ter­nal au­dit into the project in Oc­to­ber.

The work to up­grade Great South Rd be­tween the Green­lane mo­tor­way junc­tion and the Harp of Erin is now ex­pected to fin­ish by June, a year be­hind sched­ule.

Costs spi­ralled to more than $32m from orig­i­nal es­ti­mates in 2005 of $18.8m.

The doc­u­ments re­leased on Fri­day blame an in­dus­try­wide short­age of skilled and ex­pe­ri­enced peo­ple.

And it says dif­fi­cul­ties were caused by “si­mul­ta­ne­ous, mul­ti­ple sys­tems fail­ings, in­ter­nally and ex­ter­nally”.

“Of all th­ese sys­tems, project man­age­ment was the sin­gle big­gest fail­ing.”

The 19-page doc­u­ment de­tails a string of mis­takes, poor re­port­ing of costs, a lack of ac­count­abil­ity among man­agers, and un­fore­seen dif­fi­cul­ties on site.

It says six months into con­struc­tion, nei­ther the coun­cil nor project man­agers knew the ex­tent of the prob­lem.

“It is known that some­thing is se­ri­ously amiss, but not the mag­ni­tude of the prob­lem,” the re­port says.

Last year the Cen­tral Leader re­ported con­cerns of busi­nesses, who re­ported a drop in trade by up to 60 per­cent dur­ing the work.

The re­port says man­age­ment of stake­hold­ers was poor, with af­fected busi­nesses ob­ject­ing to deal­ing with con­trac­tors rather than the coun­cil.

The road­works are still un­der way, with ma­jor work to re­con­fig­ure the cor­ner of Camp­bell Rd and Great South Rd dur­ing the Christ­mas break.

Mr Rankin says “vir­tu­ally ev­ery prob­lem you could have” oc­curred dur­ing the Green­lane project.

He says ma­jor changes have been made in the trans­port de­part­ment, in­clud­ing more per­ma­nent staff to re­place con­trac­tors.

More work is be­ing done on plan­ning and bud­get­ing projects be­fore they start.

He says the Green­lane work is now be­ing man­aged well.

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