IBM pays "substantial" compensation for Census fail

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IBM pays "substantial" compensation for Census fail

IBM has reached a financial settlement with the government for an undisclosed amount as a result of the bungled online Census.

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull took to 3AW this morning, saying that IBM had made a "substantial financial settlement".

"The additional costs were well covered by the settlement," he said. "It would not be an exaggeration to say we had a collective sense of humour failure about IBM's performance."

IBM was paid $9.6 million for the contract to host the online Census, though the ABS estimated the debacle had ballooned to $30 million in remedial costs.

Turnbull has previously been critical of IBM's role as the key supplier for the Census, telling the public that "heads will roll" after the incident.

Following chief cybersecurity adviser Alastair MacGibbon's report into the incident last night, Turnbull only hinted at IBM's response.

"There have been a lot of personnel changes at IBM as a consequence, I suppose heads have rolled there, and we'll be working through the recommendations of Alastair MacGibbon's review of the incident with the ABS and indeed with other government departments to make sure that we learn the lessons from this failure."

IBM previously denied that any staff lost their jobs over the incident.

When asked whether IBM would receive any work from the government again, Turnbull said "All government contracts are assessed through a proper procurement process... Obviously everyone's performance and track record are all taken into account when tenders are assessed, but they're not assessed by me."

MacGibbon recommended in his report that the ABS develop a strategy to remove its state of vendor lock-in with IBM in an attempt to separate the two.

The senate gave its own report, recommending that the ABS commit to an open tender process for future Census engagements.

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