The Bloomberg administration's re-design of the city's 911 emergency call system is $1 billion over-budget and seven years behind schedule, according to a comprehensive audit of the project by City Comptroller John Liu.
The system re-design and planned new call centers were supposed to be completed by 2008 at a cost of $1.3 billion. Liu told WNYC on Wednesday that the price tag is closer to $2.3 billion with a 2015 completion date — two years after Mayor Michael Bloomberg leaves office.
“Years of mismanagement have led to this incredibly enormous budget overrun, and to date, it is still not fully operational,” Liu told WNYC on Wednesday.
Concerns about the effectiveness of the city's 911 system stem from September 11, 2001, when the system was overwhelmed with callers not being able to get through or getting inaccurate information. The system's poor performance during the August 2003 blackout prompted Bloomberg to create a panel to investigate how emergency communications could be improved.
By 2004, the Bloomberg administration had a blueprint for a major system upgrade which was rolled out with much fanfare as the Emergency Communications Transformation Program (ECTP).
It called for the integration of the city's separate police, fire and ambulance emergency dispatch systems as well as the creation of two 911 call centers — one based at the City's Metrotech facility in Brooklyn and a second back-up call center in the Bronx.
Liu's audit found that as early as 2007 the Bloomberg administration disregarded an internal memo from the city's Department of Information Technology, which called for the contracts to be re-bid and raised serious questions about how the project was being handled.
The comptroller's audit identified a lack of oversight and independent quality assurance for ECTP's outsourced IT contracts. Similar issues had been previously flagged in reviews of the Bloomberg administration's CityTime payroll system re-design, which resulted in a $600 million, multi-layered fraud prosecution.
The comptroller says the city office responsible for keeping day to day tabs on 911 re-design and makeover is under-staffed and there has been a rapid turn-over of top managers – including the unexpected departures of 911 redo boss Skip Funk and Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith.
Liu told WNYC in an interview that both CityTime and the 911 re-design suffered from the outsourcing of contract oversight.
"We're also highly recommending that the city get away from using another set of consultants to oversee the first set of consultants, but rather use city managers to keep on top of consultants in general," Liu said.
The current Deputy Mayor for Operations, Cas Hollaway, said the Bloomberg administration had "long ago" been aware of the issues raised by Liu and has "taken the measures necessary to address them."
In a statement, Hollaway wrote that "the Mayor established the Office of Citywide Emergency Communications in 2010 to strengthen the governance of the program, and we have filled numerous vacancies."
As for Liu's concern the project lacks independent oversight Holloway said in a statement the City "recently entered into a contract with NASA—after extensive negotiations—to ensure appropriate independent verification and validation on the project."
Sources inside the 911 system workforce tell WNYC there is considerable concern that even after the project is completed it will still be vulnerable to a system meltdown in the event of a high volume call event.
Scott Stringer is not qualified to be NYC gov comptroller but thanks to back room deals and fixing and favors he got the job. He removed John Liu's Press Release from May 31, 2012 asking for a criminal investigation in to 911. Cy Vance said there is no need for one. Truth is yes there is and we need yet another new audit of 911 and for years before the first audits we needed a criminal investigation in to 911 and we still do. We also need an audit and investigation in to 311 spending and Board of Election, NYCAPS, NYCWiNS, FDNY Wireless, etc.
On Sunday Google YouTube blocked ad revenue on a YouTube on Rape Epidemic NYC including NYPD Rapists and Google years later has now blocked it my response is to remove all ads because news reports have ads by it so this is yet another misogynist attack and harassment -- a long list starting with under Bloomberg my entire YouTube channel was removed and I am one of the only activists to get my channel back with an APOLOGY! That was classy of Google YouTube to apologize. We wonder if Bloomberg has money in Google and also I have been harassed by Joe Tacopina and I had to fight and win to get my YouTubes up. I am also alleging Joe Tacopina may have committed a crime if he was the one with Chad Seigel -- if they both went on YouTube after I was savagely assaulted Google Dr Fagelman assault see a running punch to my head a hole in my retina...Tacopina if it was him used a sock puppet account to call me a C#nt and threaten to bury me destroy me if I took any legal actions AND TO SEE THE TABLES TURNED AND THAT IS WHAT THE CORRUPT NYPD DID THEY BROKE LAWS -- A PILE UP CRIMES FROM THE MISOGYNIST NYPD DETECTIVES WHO ACTEDO ON THE THREAT TO THE MD'S OFFICE WHERE I WAS TOLD I HAD NO RIGHTS AND IT IS OKAY TO TRY AND BEAT ME TO A PULP AND A RUNNING PUNCH TO MY EYE AND NYPD LIED IN THEIR POLICE REPORTS WHICH IS ALSO A CRIME AS IS LYING TO THE POLICE DURING AN OPEN INVESTIGATION AS IS THREATENING THE VICTIM.
Passionate letters published in The Financial Times re: Lucien Freud, my art and women's issues, The Wall St. Journal"Betrayal at Ground Zero", The Chief, The New York Times (9),Crains "NYU's Logo should be a dorm with a dollar", The New York Sun, The New York Post, The New York Daily News, Metro, AMNY, The Village Voice "Carbon Copy" letter of the week, Newsday, Jerusalem Post, my blog mentioned New York Mag Intelligencer neighborhood watch. Got speed bumps for Anna Silver School & doors for women's bathroom Tompkins. Donated my white blood cells twice to help a little girl fight Non-Hodgkins & man w/Lymphoma. Two hour process & you can only do it 12 x in your life. Too worn out to donate now. Way back Liz Smith mentioned me & my favorite zen quote "Live each moment as if your hair is on fire." which means live in the moment like it is your last aka live life passionately!
I am really proud to say I have run 2 New York City Marathons!!! Also to have done volunteer work with pre-school handicap children at Rusk. NYTimes My YouTube work 1) Giuseppi Logan’s Second Chance 2)Mysterious Mr. Rechnitz