Thursday, May 26, 2011

CM James Addresses SAIC Dismissal of Citytime Manager for Corruption

May 26, 2011

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

Council Member Letitia James Addresses SAIC Dismissal of CityTime Manager for Corruption
Cites History of Problems with Citytime Contract; Calls for A Cancellation of Existing SAIC Contracts Pending Further Review

(New York, NY)— On May 25, 2011, New York City Comptroller John Liu released important information related to the Citytime payroll project, which was the focus of a federal indictment in December 2010 due to the $80M in City funds embezzled by project contractors.

The Comptroller’s office received communication written to the Executive Director of the Financial Information Services Agency (FISA) by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), contractor of Citytime. FISA maintains various financial information systems for the City, such as its centralized accounting and budgeting system, payroll system, pension system, and personnel system. The communication stated SAIC’s notice of dismissal of Gerard Denault, the senior projects manager of Citytime.

The SAIC found that Mr. Denault violated company policies in relation to timekeeping practices within the project. For instance, he routinely billed hours to Citytime that he did not work.

“With the dismissal of Mr. Denault, we come to see that the greed that led to the 2010 Citytime fraud was not just the work of a handful of contractors, but the unfortunate result of a system that is poorly-managed and ill-supervised,” said Council Member James. “This project is a thief’s buffet. How much more evidence must we uncover before we put Citytime to rest, and take a long look at the way we handle private contracts throughout this City?”

Council Member James has been a longtime opponent of the Citytime project, spanning her tenure as Chair of the Council’s Contracts Committee, where she held two hearings on the project in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, she applauded Comptroller Liu on standing firm on his commitment to enact oversight to Citytime— giving SAIC a June 2011 deadline to complete long-delayed work, and ceasing further development of the project. Following the $80M embezzlement of City funds by Citytime contractors, Council Member James joined many of her colleagues in calling for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to cancel their existing contracts with SAIC until further review of Citytime’s timekeeping practices, management errors resulting in erroneous overtime payments, and exuberant project funding requests.

In light of Mr. Denault’s dismissal, SAIC has committed to refund $2,470,522, the amount he billed to the City. Furthermore, Comptroller Liu has called on the Department of Investigation to conduct a comprehensive review of other possible violations by SAIC.


No comments: