Friday, March 26, 2010

Computing a Knucklehead Award

Juan Gonzales has done a real public service in exposing the incompetency of the Bloomberg City Time project-and he continues today in the NY Daily News: "The city is paying some 230 "consultants" an average salary of $400,000 a year for a computer project that is seven years behind schedule and vastly over budget.The payments continue despite Mayor Bloomberg's admission the computerized timekeeping and payroll system - called CityTime - is "a disaster."

Begging the mayor's pardon, but it isn't just the project that's a disaster-and the mayor's incompetence here flies in the face of his carefully crated image of managerial acumen. But the whole affair offers a good eye into the Bloomberg way of doing business; when he has a grand idea fixee cost is no object-and the tax payer be stuffed.

In these lean times, however, Bloomberg has no excuse: "People who worked on this aren't stupid and aren't lazy," Bloomberg said. "Some projects are so big and the world changes so fast while you're building them, [you realize] maybe that's not a good way to do anything." That cavalier excuse is unacceptable. Our city is facing its biggest financial crisis in years and Bloomberg has decreed major cuts in jobs and basic services. Last fall, City Hall laid off 510 public school aides to save $12 million. At the same time, the mayor's aides were adding more than $24 million to the operating budget of the office of payroll administration just to help pay for CityTime's consultants."

So, while local businesses suffer and services are cut down with the concomitant layoff of city workers, we enter the mayor's unearned third term with the paradox of a chief executive touted for his competence, exhibiting something far less-and that these "consultants" are still on the payroll is an outrage that is deserving of a Platinum Knucklehead Award from a Mort Zuckerman who will simply never give Bloomberg the honors that he has earned.