Fujitsu sued for damages over faulty My Number system

The Japan Agency for Local Authority Information Systems (J-LIS) is planning to sue Fujitsu for damages due to persistent problems with the issuing of ‘My Number’ cards, the social and fiscal number system introduced in Japan last year. Fujitsu is a major supplier of IT systems to Japanese government organisations and was awarded the contract to develop the system.  J-LIS has come to the conclusion that the system is not meeting the standards that were set when the system was tendered. Very since the issuance started in January of this year, local governments have had difficulties connecting with the central system and J-LIS had to restart and increase servers, leading to substantial delays in issuance of the My Number Cards.

In Japanese public procurement, large projects such as these are usually reserved for the largest companies and often tendered in restricted procedures. Fujitsu has managed to carve out a substantial chunk of government-ordered IT-business. In September 2015, the company announced that it hoped to earn close to ¥65 billion (570 million Euros) on My Number related projects alone in the 2014-2016 period. Larger Japanese companies usually have well-established networks with government organisations, public demands for damages are therefore not often seen.

Sources: Nikkei Online (Japanese), ITPRO-NikkeiBP (Japanese)

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