IN your report of Swansea Council's budget setting debate (16 February) you note that the Cabinet Member for Finance stated that the e-government ICT project was supposed to deliver £26.3 million in savings but that the figure was "barely £1 million" and the Liberal Democrats did not challenge these figures.
That is because we each had three minutes to move our own amendment and respond to an hour-long presentation and could not deal with all of the Labour councillor's accusations. The savings for the project were of course set by the then Labour Administration in 2003-4 before we inherited the scheme. They were never incorporated into the budget simply because of the difficulty of quantifying them, so no cuts were made because of the failure to deliver on them. The significant point about e-government was that, apart from the technically challenging payroll system, it was delivered within the costs set down for it by Labour in 2004 and it succeeded in modernising a number of key systems that subsequently improved the management of the council. The system is delivering everything needed.
Councillor Peter Black AM