From the Daily News:
Will taxpayers be held hostage to the CityTime money pit for years to come?
Defense giant SAIC, the main contractor on the scandal-plagued $700 million timekeeping and payroll project, failed to provide city officials with so much vital information about the system's design that no one else can operate or maintain it.
That's the astonishing conclusion of a new study of CityTime by accounting firm KPMG.
The knowledge transfer that is standard in private industry for such huge information technology purchases did not occur with SAIC, the report concluded.
"The lack of formal knowledge transfer planning and documentation increases the risk that the City will continue to be reliant on vendor support of the application," KPMG said in a 62-page report it handed to city officials on Jan. 11.
More than 10 years after CityTime was launched, it "is not only overdue, overpriced and wrought with allegations of fraud, but today we learned that it doesn't even come with a user manual," city Controller John Liu said in statement.
Mayor Bloomberg agreed to commission the KPMG study in September to win Liu's approval for extending until June the deadline for SAIC to finish rolling out CityTime to the full target population of 165,000 city workers.
The city Office of Payroll Administration is jointly run by the controller and the mayor, so the vote of both men is needed for any new contract.
"All deficiencies caused by the vendor [should be] cured at no additional cost to taxpayers," Liu insisted yesterday.
It is absurd, however, that a private company created timekeeping and payroll system for public workers that only it can operate.
Federal prosecutors recently subpoenaed SAIC's own records as part of their continuing probe of the project.
Now we learn that for $700 million, the city got a system it can't operate itself.
Bloomberg would never allow an outside vendor to exercise such unprecedented control over the computer systems of his own company.
So why does he accept it for the payroll system of New York City workers?