Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Troubles with expensive county computer acquisition

EDITOR:

A long overdue update was recently given on the county’s struggling $5.6 million acquisition of an ERP computer system. Teri Daly, CAO, described it as 20 percent complete and the project is on budget and on schedule. Nice shoot from the hip round number Daly.

The expensive software doesn’t perform three major critical functions and other state legal requirements. No written guarantees are provided by Tyler Technologies. The software only handles 4-digit account numbers. It’s apparent that the CAO jumped the gun on this $5.6 million software. Homework first would have entailed much less needs analysis studies and would have fleshed out these problems before committing millions of dollars of taxpayer money. The recent ERP Charter Report is merely an ex post facto deliberation to make it appear as if the county did its homework prior to the investment decision — it didn’t.

Daly admitted she doesn’t know about this technological stuff, as she has a liberal arts type of college education. Someone should teach her the basics like where the kill switch is or how to pull the plug. Partial blame rests with a chief technology officer who moonlights as a DA — no conflict of interest there.

Daly referred to the process as a “dance.” Will it turn into a slam dance and chest bumping with the vendor over system requirements that weren’t properly delineated by the county?

The county’s relying on a software vendor to perform systems analysis afterwards is a dangerous and backwards way of doing it. If Tyler’s software won’t meet the county’s needs, it’s back to square one with a hefty foregone cost and a lot of finger-pointing. Vern Pierson leaped from the crowd to assure us that everything is fine. Vern got his computer degree back when they were still using mainframes and software programs were written on punched cardboard cards. It’s also apparent from his comments that our DA/CTO is applying legal intimidation to vice presidents at Tyler to push for project success. A little legal intimidation to fix thousands of lines of computer code that don’t deliver what the county requires?

Big round numbers provided by Daly as to projected software efficiency gains of 10 percent or 27 county positions at $100,000 per employee per year is $2.7 million. Later she quipped out of thin air a potential savings of $3 million to $10 million per year. Yeah, when pigs fly.

She argued that blindly spending oodles of money and flying blind by the seat of the pants was the best solution. Daly and Pierson signed the late Project Charter report, but Joe Harn refused. I can’t blame Joe, it’s probably not good to stick your neck out and have it taken off by this runaway train wreck. Harn went on to state that he has significant concern with the language in the charter drafted by county staff and administration. When Harn described the Tyler analysis process as “rough” it spoke volumes. Harn also advised to get all Tyler promises — aka change orders — in writing, also a good idea.

MORRIS BLUM
Placerville

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 19 comments

  • EvelynOctober 09, 2013 - 4:21 pm

    Morris Blum: I love it when you tell it like it is. Thank you.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Phil VeerkampOctober 09, 2013 - 11:38 pm

    Teri Daly, CAO, is still here because . . .

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Shilly ShallyOctober 09, 2013 - 11:50 pm

    . . . she is simply sophomoric shilly shally shabby sheik style shemale can't-touch-me-even-if-you-try

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynOctober 10, 2013 - 6:48 am

    "Daly admitted she doesn’t know about this technological stuff, as she has a liberal arts type of college education." . . . Perhaps the DA (IT overseer in EDC) will be able to pull the rabbit out of the hat. Or, if all else fails, the two of them can point out that Obamacare websites costing taxpayers $634M still don't work.

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 10, 2013 - 8:13 am

    Heavy sigh...the county is not checking on anything that is being done by "staff"...and they chose people from other counties that didnt know what they were doing there either...

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  • pvl residentOctober 10, 2013 - 4:46 pm

    It will cost 2 million to back out of the contract so they are stuck with it. The Chief Technology Officer is the DA and the IT Director is a CAO analyst who has never supervised staff. Why won't they hire someone with IT experience to run the dept?

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  • cookie65October 11, 2013 - 4:30 am

    This comes on the heals of obama's healthcare dot gov running up a $634million tab, 6 1/2 times its bid price and it doesn't work. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2452404/Obamacare-website-cost-634MILLION-doesnt-work.html

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  • cookie65October 11, 2013 - 4:32 am

    California EDD spent $100 million on a system upgrade that was broken from the start. http://www.news10.net/news/article/260134/2/Insiders-100-million-state-system-broken-from-the-start

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  • cookie65October 11, 2013 - 4:43 am

    Entrenched lifetime public sector types who just float from one trough to the next are never accountable for the messes they cause. The system that is broken is the system that allows unqualified, unaccountable people to embed their mandibles into the public trough with zero responsibility for the decisions they make or the waste of tax payer money they cause. I guess the only thing required to feed at the public trough for life with no regard for anything is the all-important liberal arts degree. It is the system within the system.

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  • Stand up and help MorrisOctober 11, 2013 - 6:23 am

    This seems like the same letter posted months ago. My apologies Morris, but this is very old news and old CAO update you refer to. I sure would appreciate your testifying to the Board of Supervisors in person so we may all benefit from your expertise and current status can be addressed.

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  • cluck cluckOctober 11, 2013 - 8:38 am

    The posters here are teetering on "Water Boy's Momma" status. "Compooders're the deble". Y'all is gude at pointing out what's wrong with things. 'Guess yur solution wood B to go back to vacuum note senders and typewriters. Lady's your age as well as your ignorance is showing like an old woman's support hose. Not very becoming...

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  • Pat RiceOctober 11, 2013 - 8:46 am

    morning y'all

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 11, 2013 - 8:48 am

    cluck cluck...when you make the effort to read...and put down sites showing that this was the "best" buy--that had many researching it over a period of time...many will listen. However, when the head of "IT" himself has reservations...shrugging shoulders...I dont know how far your feelings will go..but good luck with that.

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  • cluck cluckOctober 11, 2013 - 9:30 pm

    Fran Duchamp is a delusional moron. Fran Duchamp you are a legend in your own mind.

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  • cluck cluckOctober 11, 2013 - 9:33 pm

    Fran Duchamp bring your complaint to the Grand Jury. Or is the County innocent until proven guilty? Remember you BFF Ray Nutting approved of the expenditure. You sorry excuse...

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 11, 2013 - 9:33 pm

    ouch...lolol...cluck cluck....angry trolls dont get more pay....lololol

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  • James E.October 11, 2013 - 9:37 pm

    And, so we end another day at the MtDemocrat web site -- with turbulent comments to help us all sleep. Later all. Tomorrow.

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 11, 2013 - 9:38 pm

    cluck cluckOctober 11, 2013 - 9:33 pm awwwwwwww...Im not fighting you....lets look at the article...which I did not write "Harn went on to state that he has significant concern with the language in the charter drafted by county staff and administration. When Harn described the Tyler analysis process as “rough” it spoke volumes. Harn also advised to get all Tyler promises — aka change orders — in writing, also a good idea" Harn is in charge of the IT dept. As far as Ray being my BFF...lolol....okay..sorry it is really hard to fight with a chicken...lololol

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Fran DuchampOctober 11, 2013 - 9:39 pm

    good night James

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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