Want another example of wasting taxpayer dollars and complete mismanagement from the mayor and staff? Look no further than the $37 million boondoggle, "OneSD". Over the last couple of years, roughly 100 people (40 or so full time city employees and a gaggle of consultants) have been working to build a new system to connect every computer in every department throughout the city to enable closer scrutiny of budgets, spending and invoices by fewer people and tighter controls and a better management of resources. OneSD or the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) initiative was launched in early 2007, after agreeing to purchase software from SAP Public Services and hire Axon Solutions Inc. to install and train staff to use the system. The project was scheduled to be operational in October 2008 but was delayed over and over again because the city continually changed personnel working on the project. With each change came a different view or idea or belief of how things should be. Axon Solutions Inc. was blamed for the city's incompetence and the contract was pulled and given to SAP Public Services to complete the installation and get the system operational.
Shortly after sanders was elected mayor, he began his Business Process Reengineering (BPR) and hired Rick Reynolds to coordinate this effort. Part of this effort involved the ERP or OneSD project. Reynolds was ultimately fired by the mayor for undisclosed reasons and has since filed a wrongful termination law suit against the mayor. One of many fall guys when things do not go as planned; remember that experience says the mayor has to have someone to shoulder the blame and Rick Reynolds fit this bill.
Fast forward to August 2009; OneSD goes on line and the joke begins. If you missed the memo regarding time cards; OneSD is alive and well and now part of the time card equation. I understand the lag in getting up to speed with new systems and programs of this nature. I understand kinks that develop when trying to implement such a large and sophisticated project will need to be worked out and massaged. I get the apprehension of using a new system for tasks normally done "the old fashioned way." Change is often met with some resistance and fear while attempts are made to hold on to the "old way" of doing things.
The problem with OneSD is the manner in which the system was brought on line and sold to those who are tasked with using it. When problems were identified; changes suggested; mechanisms challenged; Axon Solutions drug their feet; city employees lost interest and the project languished in limbo. With the price tag growing by the day and no sign of going on line anywhere in sight; heads were on the chopping block. Axon was dumped and SAP hired through San Diego Data Processing Corp. (City IT provider) to finish the project. (SDDPC is a whole story in itself)
The joke is the time, money and energy expended to get to the point we are at today. In true San Diego form, "Commercial-off-the-shelf" products just would not due. There was a report written to justify the expenditure of taxpayer money for this "Gold" program that was implemented without a return on investment or net present value calculation being made or used to justify this decision. Data Warehousing with existing systems within the city would have saved millions of dollars and achieved the same outcomes. The system would have been up and running long ago and the money saved could have gone to one of a hundred programs and projects eliminated in our communities. The arrogance of the mayor's office and their touting of a system much needed, yet grossly overpriced, has boxed the city into making this system work at any cost.
An accounting system of this nature is long overdue. This does not in any way justify the amount of money spent to get this new system on line. As this system fully evolves and becomes part of our daily lives; we will notice little if any changes to the way we do business. OneSD is just another example of the mayor's willingness to spend taxpayer money to make himself look good at the same time laying blame for budget deficits at the feet of the city's employees. The joke is on you San Diego; the fleecing of an entire city is in the making. Under the cover of the Kroll report and past failures of prior administrations the mayor is buying limousine products on a used car budget. Where is the City Council? Where are the checks and balances for the actions of this mayor? Strong mayor form of government is ruining this city. But then, maybe if the mayor was an ethical, honest, inclusive politician who cared more about the city than his image or how things look, it would not be such an issue?
OneSD is in its infancy and just now being rolled out. Time will tell what positive effects it will have on the effectiveness and management of resources in San Diego. It will have to be error free and extremely effective to recoup the money spent thus far on this system. Not having a baseline evaluation of present value or the ability to decipher the return on this investment, the mayor can tout anything he likes to make this program appear to be a wise investment. A real sad state of affairs for San Diego.