On Tuesday, September 21, 2010, Council Member Letitia James joined Local 375, DC 37, the Civil Service Technical Guild representing City engineers, architects, scientists, chemists, and other technical specialists in opposing the administration’s Citytime payroll project. From the onset, the Citytime project has been rife with accusations of administration and management errors that have seen “consultants” paid exuberant prices. Furthermore, the initial cost of the project ($68M) has ballooned to an estimated $700M over-budget last fiscal year. The current proposal is a 3-year contract that includes two SAIC contracts, and funding for ongoing operations. It would cost more than $100M.
Council Member James joined the guild in calling on a freeze to any further rolling-out of the project in terms of both additional funding and application to new City agencies. In addition, she called on a full assessment of the project to be performed as soon as possible, following the audit performed by Comptroller John Liu, to determine whether it would be most cost-efficient to return payroll duties to City workers.
Council Member Letitia James has been a long-term opponent of the Citytime project, from her tenure of Chair of the Contracts Committee where she held two hearings on the project, as well as one on the general outsourcing of service jobs to the private sector. She continues to introduce legislation concerning the City's outsourcing of service contracts that may be able to be performed by municipal workers.
Council Member James applauds Comptroller Liu on standing firm on his opposition to the project overall. The Comptroller recently announced his agreement with the administration to give SAIC a deadline of June 30, 2011 to complete all original work on the program. If that is completed, the program will receive up to $32M for maintenance and support services alone. There will be no further rolling-out of the project at this time, and if SAIC fails to meet this deadline, $3M in damages will be assessed against the City’s payment.
You can read more about the new agreement here.