Birmingham City Council Seeks an Additional £45m to Address Critical Issues with Oracle System

According to a document released ahead of Birmingham City Council’s cabinet meeting, additional funds are required to address issues with the Oracle system. The report, which will be presented to the cabinet on February 27, reveals that £45 million is needed to stabilize and enhance the operation of the Oracle ERP and HR system. Last year, city council leader John Cotton referred to the Oracle system as “disastrous,” resulting in a £100 million cost to taxpayers. Now, a report by Peter Sebastian, the council’s head of financial planning, states that an additional £45 million is necessary to resolve the problems, in addition to the £85 million already spent. Sebastian highlights significant difficulties with the system’s processes, interfaces, and ability to generate meaningful reports. He notes that the finance ledger’s financial integrity remains at risk, requiring manual adjustments to ensure accuracy. This has led to a six-month delay in closing prior year accounts and an increased burden on the finance team. Sebastian also mentions ongoing issues with budget forecasting and the need for manual corrections due to inaccuracies in the finance ledger. The report indicates the requirement for an additional £45 million over two years, in addition to the current operating costs of the Oracle system. This comes at a challenging time as the city council faces financial troubles, with a reported budget gap and the need to raise council tax by 21%.

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