14 Sep UW regents OK plan to spend $81.4 million on computer overhaul
Whitewater — The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents approved a plan Friday to overhaul the antiquated computer system that manages its employee payroll and benefits, for an amount that could reach $81.4 million.
The project comes just a few years after the UW System abandoned another computer overhaul that went on for five years and cost $28.4 million, only to be scrapped.
Questions also have been raised about the lead vendor selected for the new project. Huron Consulting Group is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for accounting irregularities related to improper acquisition-related payments. In addition to the investigation, the Chicago-based firm is facing a number of lawsuits over the matter.
Huron and its subcontractor, Accenture, stand to make $46.7 million in consulting fees from the project.
The regents’ approval of the project is contingent on amending UW’s contract with Huron to safeguard against any disruptions. Thomas Anderes, senior vice president for administration and fiscal affairs for the UW system, said he is seeking provisions that would help keep key Huron personnel on the project, either by encouraging them to stay at the firm or allowing them to be hired by UW if they go to other companies.
He expressed optimism the contract amendments would be accepted by Huron.
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