Sunday, February 8, 2015
911 system is crap
From the NY Times:
New York City employees were pressured by supervisors to “ ‘sanitize,’ ‘soften’ or ‘spin’ ” failures surrounding the long-delayed, $2 billion upgrade of the city’s 911 system by tampering with color-coded ratings, a new investigation has found.
The overhaul of the 911 dispatching system, a decade in the making and $700 million over budget, was brought to a halt nine months ago by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who ordered a fresh review by the city’s Department of Investigation.
The department’s 105-page report, to be released on Friday, highlights some of the same problems as did a 2012 examination by the city comptroller’s office, which found mismanagement, overbilling and poor oversight by the Bloomberg administration.
But the agency sought to go further, by exploring the reasons for those deficiencies. It conducted more than 50 interviews and sifted through more than 1.5 million documents, according to Mark G. Peters, commissioner of the Investigation Department.
“The importance of this report is that it laid out in such detail how this went off the rails, and it laid out what we need to do to make sure it doesn’t go off the rails again,” he said in an interview.
The previously unreported issues the agency identified included an 8 percent cap on markups that was “effectively nullified” because of multiple layers of contractors. A line item for installation increased by 647 percent.
The agency also found more than $211 million in costs that were not reflected in the project’s budget but that it said should have been.
Mr. Peters said that an over-reliance on contractors and subcontractors had helped lead to outlandish markups, but that no one was effectively monitoring the escalating costs and extended deadlines.