- Associated Press - Friday, September 4, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - The Hawaii Department of Transportation has filed a lawsuit seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages from an information technology consulting company that was overseeing a new computer system for the state Highways Division that never worked.

The Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit against Colorado-based Ciber Inc. Wednesday, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (https://bit.ly/1i0BXhW).

The state hired Ciber in 2008 to help design, develop and deploy a DOT system that would automate project and financial reporting requirements that could perform functions required by the federal government to obtain reimbursements for projects.

However, the lawsuit states that Ciber was unable to design such a system. The system failed to function properly and failed reviews by the Federal Highway Administration.

In all, the state paid Ciber and other consultants working on the Financial Accounting System Transportation $13.88 million. The project has not been completed.

The lawsuit also alleges that Ciber “used lobbyists and exercised inappropriate political influence” so the state would keep making payments to the company. The company hired two lobbyists to help make its case to Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s administration that the state should continue with its contract.

Ciber finally abandoned the project and withdrew its staff in August 2014. The company submitted a claim to the Department of Transportation alleging it suffered more than $23 million in damages.

Ciber Inc. did not respond to a message seeking comment.

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