PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Hewlett Packard Enterprise is defending itself against a lawsuit Rhode Island filed over an unfinished computer system, saying the company has spent nearly $34 million more than the state has paid HP Enterprise to create the system for the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles.
WPRI-TV reports (http://bit.ly/2gDXIUL) that court documents show the Palo Alto, California-based company says it’s spent $46.9 million on the project since 2008, while the state has only paid it $13 million.
The state sued HP Enterprise last month after the company threatened to walk off the job unless it received more money. A judge has ordered the work to continue for now.
Robert Hull, director of the state Department of Revenue, said in a statement this week that HP Enterprise needs to fulfil an amended contract it signed last year to complete the project by Sept. 28, at a price tag of about $13.5 million after refunds. But HP Enterprise interprets the contract differently, and the two sides have been in mediation.
HP Enterprise argues the amended contract only required the company to complete a series of short periods of coding and testing, called “sprints,” and if the project wasn’t finished by Sept. 28, the state would pay extra, the TV station reported.
State lawyers have balked at the company argument that the state owes another $12 million; they say Rhode Island shouldn’t be held responsible if the company can’t live up to its side of the deal.
Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo has said the company is “unfairly demanding more money to complete an eight-year-old computer upgrade.” She cites a 2013 pledge by HP Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman to deliver a solution the people of Rhode Island deserve.
HP Enterprise was one of two companies formed last year by the breakup of tech giant Hewlett-Packard Inc., which inherited the DMV project after acquiring another company. The project was first contracted in 2008 to replace a decades-old system.
Information from: WPRI-TV, http://www.wpri.com