Victoria’s state budget is set to take a giant hit as the system used to collect fines in the state suffers an ongoing failure.
Software used by Fines Victoria to collect infringement for parking, red-light camera and speeding offences is not working. The massive system failure, which is also used to collect court fines, threatens to leave a crater in Victoria’s state budget of almost $330 million.
The story has been broken and reported by The Age, with the newspaper reporting that the failure is resulting in a ‘massive backlog’ of infringement notices that can’t be enforced by the Department of Justice.
Last financial year, Victoria raked in $338 million from speeding infringements alone. That equates to over $900,000 a day, thanks to an extensive camera network that distributed 1.3 million infringement notices in 12 months
Read next: The most annoying traffic fines ever
Fines from speeding infringements have become a critical part of state budgets around Australia for a number of years, with governments making increasingly large estimates about the amount of money they will add to their coffers through fines.
It is reported that all up a $328 million black hole has been left in the state budget, with the money that the government had budgeted to receive for the 2018-19 financial year reclassified as “doubtful debts”.
Authorities claim that there is no issue, and the system continues to work normally, according to The Age, despite some people not receiving an initial infringement, and then discovering they owed money through late payment notices.
The Age reports that some councils have been left out of pocket to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, and are threatening legal action.
While most of the backlog is for fines, The Age reports that some imprisonment warrants are also included in the system failure.
The issue stems from new software, called VIEW, which was purchased as part of a $103 million contract from British company Civica. The system was built to enforce London’s congestion charge.
It’s reported by The Age that VIEW is described as “absolute chaos” and “death by a thousand clicks” by those working on it.
While technicians are working in both Australia and Britain to fix the issue, it isn’t expected to be back up and running for ‘at least a year’.
Fines Victoria replaced Civil Compliance Victoria in 2017, and was slammed by a Victorian Ombudsman’s inquiry earlier this year.
The agency’s performance was labelled “not good enough”, and Fines Victoria told the Ombudsman that the new system would be fully functional in June of this year.