Friday, December 17, 2010

CMs James, Mark-Viverito, Williams, and Dromm Hold Press Conference To Condemn $80M Embezzlement of NYC Funds; 12/17 TODAY; 3PM; City Hall

December 17, 2010

Contact: Aja Worthy-Davis at (212) 788-7081

Council Members Letitia James, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Jumaane Williams, and Daniel Dromm Hold Press Conference To Condemn $80M Embezzlement of City Funds By Citytime Contractors
Call On Administration To Cease Outsourcing Municipal Jobs Without Proper Oversight of Contractors; Urges MTA To Reconsider $120M SAIC Contract

New York, NY— On Wednesday, December 15, 2010 four Citytime consultants were charged with embezzling $80Million from the City of New York through steering public funds to consulting firms who funneled the money to shell companies controlled by the consultants and their families. Ironically, Citytime is a timekeeping system used by some City agencies to monitor payroll fraud and abuse. Currently, Science Applications International Corp (SAIC) is the main contractor for the Citytime timekeeping system.

Council Member Letitia James has been a long-time critic of the Citytime project, which has been rife with accusations of administration and management errors that have seen consultants such as the accused paid exuberant prices. In opposition to the operational mismanagement— as well as the ballooned cost of the project ($68 million projected at its onset to more than $738 million)— Council Member James joined Local 375-DC 37 the Civil Service Technical Guild at a press conference in September 2010 to call on a freeze to any further rolling-out of the project, and a full assessment to be performed on the project. Following the press conference, New York City Comptroller John Liu announced that an agreement had been reached with the administration to give SAIC a June 2011 deadline to complete original work on the project before receiving minimal funding for maintenance and support services.

Following yesterday’s events, Comptroller John Liu called for an emergency session of the Payroll Administration Board of Directors and further urged the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to take care in selecting a SAIC as the final contractor for its new radio communications system.

“I applaud the federal prosecutors for this indictment, but it should not have taken this amount of time to expose,” said Council Member Letitia James. “The fact that this complex scam was able to take place under the radar of the administration is proof of just how out-of-control the greed of some consultants has become. It is time to stop using public funds to continue these poorly managed, poorly supervised private enterprises. The City must stop outsourcing jobs without having the resources or inclination to manage the contractors.”

“This scandal highlights the dangers of the Bloomberg administration’s over-reliance on private contracts,” said Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito. “The extent and duration of this embezzlement calls into question the administration’s commitment to truly scrutinize the private contractors and consultants that are getting rich off of taxpayer dollars. In the wake of this news, it is time that we examine these large contracts even more closely, instead of sitting back and waiting on the federal government to find other instances of corruption.”

"I am outraged that the money that was supposed to be going to consultants working with the CityTime project has been mishandled. It is ironic that a program dedicated to eliminate waste and fraud is the same program costing taxpayers millions of dollars. The Mayor has been fiscally irresponsible with these contracts from the beginning. The answer isn't in cutting city funding or programming, the answer lies in proper management of funds," said Council Member Jumaane Williams.

“CityTime is a waste of time,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm. From the very start since the Mayor first tried to implement it, CityTime has been a disaster with cost spiraling to almost $1 billion. Now we find out that, in fact, CityTime is rife with fraud. We need to get rid of CityTime and redirect the money towards saving jobs.”

WHEN: Friday, December 17, 2010
WHERE: steps of City Hall


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