Chief operating officer Dean Kimpton and head of information services Mike Foley of the Auckland Councilsay appropriate governance and management structures are in place for the $155 million NewCore project.The project aims to consolidate core customer facing systems and processes for customer, interaction, regulatory services and rates for the former eight councils that now comprise the Auckland's \u2018Supercity\u2019.The original business case for the project was $71 million, but this projection was revised to include, among others, $60 million in \u201cuncovered complexity\u201d following a due diligence and $13 million in \u201cextended testing\u201d, according to the IS Transformation Programme Update released by the Council.\u201cIn terms of overall budget, there is no blowout,\u201d says Kimpton at a press conference to explain media reports on a budget 'blowout' on the IT project. \u201cWe are sitting well within the budget itself. We understand where the cost of NewCore sits, we understand what it is going to deliver in the context of the overall IS program.\u201dAt a high level, NewCore is focused simplifying our current systems, on standardising them and on enabling that customer experience, says Kimpton. "There is a range of things people in Auckland need to do online and we need to have a system up and running that the legacy systems won\u2019t provide for."Kimpton says the council also looked at the lessons from other IT projects that have \u201cstruggled\u201d including Novopay and Queensland Health.Kimpton says there is in place a project management and project governance structure to support a complex IT project like this. He points to the appointment of Paul Mahan, who leads the EY New Zealand IT Advisory practice, to the project.\u201cWe are independently challenging how things are put together in the reset phase, looking at governance and making sure management and governance of it is appropriate and robust,\u201d says Mahan, who joined Kimpton and Foley at the press conference.Mahan says the Novopay incident has heightened the importance of his role. \u201cWe are acting on the interest of the ratepayer.\u201dCIO review groupFoley says in 2011 to 2012, he had a CIO review group look at the strategy and plans for the merger. The CIOs came from different industries including banking and transport, and from two organisations that were doing "large scale corporate mergers".\u201cI asked them to come in and review on behalf of the Auckland Council our strategy and plans to go forward,\u201d he says, just to verify what they are doing is correct and logical for the size and scale of the council.He says some members of this "reference group" have since changed roles, but he will bring them back in for another review, "when and as required".\u201cAll we are doing is rephasing and reprioritising our expenditures,\u201d says Foley. \u201cOverall, the budget envelope stays the same. We are just bringing aspects that we would have done downstream and accelerate them into the program... There is no budget blowout, there never has been.\u201dSend news tips and comments to firstname.lastname@example.orgFollow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinapFollow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nzSign up for CIO newsletters for regular updates on CIO news, views and events.Join us on Facebook.