Bins billion agreement on outsourcing of ICT

Health South East cancels billion contract on outsourcing

The Board of Health South East (Helse Sør Øst) has decided to drop the billion crowns agreement to outsource the ICT systems in the health company, according to NRK.

The broadcaster writes that the Board of Health South East has decided to cancel the entire contract for the deployment and outsourcing of ICT infrastructure they have entered into with the company DXC.

It is one year since NRK revealed that IT workers in Malaysia, India and Bulgaria had access to patient data even before formal transfer of the ICT systems. This was contrary to all promises that were made to the Norwegian Parliament, and the entire agreement was immediately suspended.

At a board meeting on Thursday it was decided that the entire agreement should now be binned, which is likely to be expensive. It is a health company Sykehuspartner HF, which has been responsible for the contract.

– Sykehuspartner (Hospital Partner) now has to negotiate with DXC. It will be clarified possible reuse of the work and the investments made before the project was suspended. In 2017, NOK 112 million was written off as loss. We expect further depreciation in 2018, the healthcare company writes in a press release.

Changed risk assessment

Leader of the board, Svein Gjedrem, says it is too early to say anything about the final financial consequences before the negotiations have been completed.

The decision to terminate the agreement was based, inter alia, on the fact that “the risk assessment regarding outsourcing of services has changed significantly since the contract was signed.

– Both the National Security Authority and the Police Security Service point to increased risk of cyber attacks and changed threat to data security. The data break in into Health South East in January illustrates this. The revised security act can provide additional safety requirements, writes Health South-East.

Lack of respect

MP Kjersti Toppe (Centre Party) calls the case a major scandal, and believes it is “inconceivable” that it has not had larger political consequences.

– It has cost Health Norway a lot and is caused by incompetence and lack of respect of warnings from the academic community. It mirrors a political ideology where there is a lack of faith in in-house competence, while outsourcing and tenders is the norm, she says in a comment to NTB.

She believes that Minister of Health, Bent Høie (Conservatives) should have intervened early on and vetoed the plans.

– He was warned against the risk, but blindly trusted the health company and explained to the Parliament that this would free up funds for treatment of patients. Now the opposite is the outcome, says the Member of Parliament.

Who is going to pay?

Toppe wonders who will pay for this.

– Must patients and employees in Health South East wait longer for treatment or run faster at work? Or will the Norwegian treasury and Høie pick up the bill?

The Norwegian Engineering and Technology Organization (NITO) is also very pleased that the agreement is being scrapped.

– I want to praise the board for making the right decision. At long last the advice from NITO professionals been taken seriously. We hope the Minister of Health will learn from this and listen to professional advise if a similar situation occurs again, comments NITO President Trond Markussen.
DXC HealthSouth-East ICT India Norway Outsourcing
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