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New York City Comptroller
John C. Liu
|Contact : Sharon Lee , (212) 669-3747||January 20, 2011|
CITYTIME HOLDS NYC HOSTAGE TO ONE COMPANY
Independent Review Finds System Not Up To Industry Standards
NEW YORK, NY – Comptroller John C. Liu stated the following in response to questions about a review released of the technology behind CityTime that casts serious doubts on whether the system could be run independently without the project’s developer:
“New York City taxpayers paid hundreds of millions for the full, custom development of CityTime from scratch. A decade later, CityTime 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.
“The CityTime product as it currently stands may allow the vendor to maintain an indefinite monopoly on the development and maintenance of New York City’s timekeeping system,” Comptroller Liu continued. “The emerging product holds the client — the City of New York — hostage to one company, the project’s developer. Proprietary systems like this require a relationship in perpetuity, which stifles competition, fails to ensure superior goods and services, and is a poor business practice that the City simply cannot afford.”
The September 28, 2010 agreement allowing the deployment of CityTime not only required for there to be no additional cost for deployment, but that an independent subject matter expert be retained to assess whether the system, once fully deployed, could be operated without the project’s developer.
The report found that the “existing documentation is not currently sufficient to allow another entity to assume responsibility for the operations and maintenance of the application… Given the size, scale and complexity of the project, it is consistent with industry practice to develop formal knowledge transfer documentation… 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.”
The report also issued seven “high priority” recommendations due to “significant negative impact to the ability of one or more firms, the City, or combination of the two to maintain and operate CityTime without the implementation of the recommendation.”
Subsequent to the assessment, Comptroller Liu instructed his representatives on the Office of Payroll Administration and the Financial Information Services Agency Boards of Directors to ensure that all deficiencies caused by the vendor are cured at no additional cost to taxpayers, and to explore all options including ceasing deployment of new users.
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