DSB loses millions on IT project
Beleaguered national rail providers, DSB, lost over 50 million kroner on a failed IT system called ‘DSB in a box’, according to DR News.
The IT fiasco is the latest instalment of the long-running DSBFirst scandal, which began nearly two years ago. DSBFirst was DSB’s attempt to branch out into Sweden and Germany, and it was an abject failure, resulting in losses of over 700 million kroner.
The ‘DSB in a box’ project, also known as the ‘IT-suitcase’, was part of the DSBFirst strategy that was launched after IT developer Logica hosted a number of DSBFirst representatives on a trip to India in the autumn of 2009 to see examples of Logica's products.
The entire project was expected to cost nearly 100 million kroner, which became an issue in 2010 when DSBFirst began suffering from financial problems.
As a result, it was decided that parent company DSB would take over the responsibility for the project, including its financing. But the project was scrapped in 2011 before it was completed.
DSBFirst also sent bills to DSB totaling 7.7 million kroner for consultancy work in connection with the project. The project has also cost the state 14 million kroner in man-hours and the total bill that the taxpayers have footed is now at over 51 million kroner and counting.
“It’s a scandal because we’re talking about taxpayers’ money and it’s just one of a host of scandals that have involved DSB,” Martin Geertsen, a spokesperson for Venstre (V), told DR News. “Perhaps we have reached that point at which the state auditors should take a look at DSB's books. I think we should consider that.”
The 'DSB in a box' scandal is the latest calamity to strike DSB, which has experienced a number of setbacks over the past few years, including the disastrous Italian IC4 adventure and, more recently, the controversy surrounding the company's dealings with PR firm Waterfront.
DSB, however, is adamant that it have followed the rules and guidelines when it comes to 'DSB in a box'.
“When the ownership of ‘DSB in a Box’ was formally handed over to DSB, the previous costs incurred by DSBFirst were transferred to DSB,” Jakob Højer, the head of communications at DSB, told DR News. “That is in line with accounting laws and DSB’s practises.”
An additional three million kroner is expected to be spent on lawyer and expert fees as part of the arbitration case that Logica, now known as CGI Danmark, has filed against DSB.