Skip to content

The Sydney Water Customer Information and Billing System 2003-1.1

12 January 2006



On 29 April 2003 the Board of Sydney Water announced that it would take legal action against PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting (PwC) over a software project that Sydney Water had abandoned in late 2002 after paying PwC $A29.4 million. Sydney Water chairwoman Ms Gabrielle Kibble AO said the fault for the failure lay with PwC, noting that her organisation had relied on the “skill, judgement, and expertise” of the consulting firm. According to a newspaper story, however, “PwC has vigorously defended the quality of its work and previously said it would fight any litigation.” In the aftermath of the problems at Sydney Water and following orders from NSW Treasurer Michael Egan to adopt a new set of guidelines for carrying out such projects, agencies and departments across the NSW government slowed their approvals of technology projects.

This case looks at project management and the role of government agencies and contractors in the planning and implementation of outsourced projects. It could also be used to discuss organisational culture and communications that advance or impede projects, the political environment and media scrutiny, and the management of IT projects more generally.

Authors: Professor Michael Vitale, Susan Keyes Pearce
Published Date: 12 January 2006
Author Institution: ANZSOG, AGSM, University of Sydney
Content Length: 8
Product Type: One-part case, Primary resources