The Citytime Debacle
  • You may remember that Citytime was a project to develop a common timekeeping system across many NYC agencies.

    Originally envisioned as a $63M project, it ballooned to $700M.     Last Friday, NYC quietly released the report that details its struggles, failures and successes.

    Enjoy?

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/doi/downloads/pdf/2014/July-2014/pr13citytime_72514.pdf
  • Skimmed through the article. Hindsight is 20/20 and stating now what should have been done then is all well and good only if the recommendations are taken to heart. But the sad part is, it's tough to find honest people. Ah well, politics at its finest.
  • A few convictions are mentioned.
  • So I'm a little confused. I've tried to look it up but I'm still confused. What exactly is or was Citytime supposed to be? A payroll software? How the heck was that going to cost $60 million? Why not just use a previously developed one?
  • It was supposed to go beyond payroll software (i.e. what ADP does), and involve timeclocks.

    ...Like Kronos.

    Why didn't they just use Kronos? Well, there was a lot of kickbacks involved, and the contractors realized that if the city had agencies that had things like no show jobs and had no idea how many employees they had on shift at a given time, they could join the party.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/22/nyregion/decades-in-prison-sought-for-citytime-scheme.html?_r=0

  • CitiTime was a project started by Bloomberg (he who should never be questioned) to manage timekeeping and payroll for a very large number of city workers. Over the years, John Liu repeatedly brought up the lack of transparency in the CitiTime project and eventually went to court to stop it. While Liu was taking these actions, Bloomberg (praise be unto Him) had hissy fits that that HIS wisdom was being questioned. After all, Bloomberg (all must bow before Him) was a wizard with finance and whatever he touches turns to gold (or is that manure?). Eventually, Liu's suit resulted in hundreds of millions of cost overrun dollars being returned to NYC with Bloomberg (he who must be obeyed) trying to take credit for this huge refund.
  • One other point: It's interesting that the NY Times article never once mentions Bloomberg or any of the incompetent (or perhaps criminal?) staffers who oversaw this project. Throughout the Bloomberg years, the Times, and most other news media here, rarely cited Bloomberg's failures and, in the rare cases that they did, that news almost immediately allowed those stories to die.
  • Now that Bloomberg is gone, one does not jeopardize their access (and/or funding) by speaking out against the mantra that "he has made billions, he must be managing this project well".

    Next stop, the failed overhaul of the 911 system: http://m.nydailynews.com/new-york/gonzalez-de-blasio-hits-reset-911-system-overhaul-article-1.1893357#bmb=1

    Something at a more intellectual level than the Daily News, please....
  • Well, the News story was not detailed, but it sort of summed up the situation. It's hard to believe, though, that in such a hugely expensive fiasco, there was no criminality. During the Bloomberg years, expensive, no-bid contracts were the norm.

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