View Full Version : All NYC Cost Overruns Found in Technology for Placement of High School Students

02-18-2011, 09:11 AM
This from the N.Y. Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/18/nyregion/18schools.html) by David W. Chen:
For the last several years, the city’s Department of Education has boasted about its record of placing students in the high schools of their choice, thanks to a new computerized process. But if the ends were successful, the means were anything but, according to the city comptroller.

In an audit released Thursday, the comptroller, John C. Liu, criticized the department’s handling of the finances of the computer system, which is modeled after a system that matches medical school graduates with residency programs.

Instead of adhering to its original contract of $3.6 million for the system’s development, the audit found, the department spent $13.5 million. Then the original project was deemed insufficient and it had to be scrapped and the city had to spend an additional $9.4 million — and counting — for a new system.

The gulf of more than $19 million between expected and projected costs reflected “poor planning” and raised concerns, the comptroller’s office said, about “similar cost overruns” for all technology projects.

The city’s original contract was with Spherion, a company whose reputation was sullied in December when several of its consultants were indicted by federal prosecutors. The consultants were accused of concocting an $80 million corruption scheme related to another technological initiative, an automated payroll system called CityTime. The city hired a new vendor for the Education Department in 2008.

In a letter to Cathleen P. Black, the schools chancellor, H. Tina Kim, the city’s deputy comptroller for audits, wrote, “Clearly, savings could have been achieved with better planning and coordination.”

read more>> (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/18/nyregion/18schools.html)