PITTSBURGH, PA - Mayor William Peduto today ordered that a long-delayed payroll implementation project be re-bid, and that the Office of Municipal Investigations perform a full investigation of the handling of the prior contract.
The Mayor announced the orders in a letter Friday to Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner, Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb, and Nicholas D. Varischetti, chair of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority board.
“When I took office in January, we inherited a payroll implementation project that was a year and a half behind schedule, over $1 million over budget, and was threatening to drag on and cost taxpayers even more money. During our short time in office, we have investigated the handling of this project and found examples of gross mismanagement, lack of oversight, and sheer waste of resources,” the Mayor wrote.
The contract between the city and the vendor on the project was never approved by City Council; it grew in price from $263,940 to $1,252,584 through multiple contract change orders; the changes were approved by a manager without apparent contracting authority; and neither the County nor City Controller ever stopped the change orders or officially investigated them, despite the direct involvement of their offices in the process.
“I am not willing to put my confidence in a system that has been so poorly managed, and has cost the City millions, and I will not wager our employees’ paychecks and livelihoods on a contractor that has consistently broken commitment after commitment,” the Mayor wrote.
He called for OMI to investigate the project, and for a new contract for completing the payroll system to be subject to a competitive Request for Proposals process.
The Mayor instructed his Chief of Staff, Kevin Acklin, to lead the administration’s efforts in efficiently managing implementation of the system.
A copy of the letter is available here.