I've received a lot of response on the 311 phone system which is starting to paint a very interesting picture and even brings our old buddy Muppet back into frame. I'll start with two comments I got and then share some extraneous information I gleaned:
Whether you misstated them or not, Cerasolli's comments were indeed incorrect. You would think someone that is supposed to be a non-partisan watchdog would either have more sense, or more restraint than to make a comment like that. You can't take a budget, divide by the number of people and come up with their salary - not in the private sector, and certainly not in the public sector. Budgets include budgeted but unfilled positions, training, software, hardware, etc. By my calculations I would like to have a $120k inspector job from him. You would have to look at expenditures to determine what is actually going on, and he should have known that.
311 is a little bigger than having a local website design, check out New York, Philly, Chicago, etc. Companies have spent way more than $3m on a CRM solution that are 1/100th the size of New Orleans. BTW, not saying that New Orleans 311 isn't totally broken in it's current state.
You seem to want to extrapolate a lot in the HSOA stuff. I am curious who you have contacted to find out about the bid. Did you call the purchasing department at the City, that would seem like a logical place to start.
In case you haven't noticed...extrapolation is the foundation of this blog. I don't know what is going on. I'm airing the information out in order to find out what is going on. If you have info about the contract, please share...that's why I'm here. Now this:
nois mois said...
anon#1 is right on some points but his bitterness is misdirected. First of all, Dambala you are right about Cerasolli's condemnation of 311. His remarks were a joke and not meant as fact but rather to highlight the enormous budget to do something simple.
On the other hand, you are wrong about the Council having a solution in place. Development of the Council system occurred after the ACS Contract and implementation of 311. Council used a City contractor (Muppet's cronies name Ciber) to build a competing system with the system ACS poorly implemented. While I can understand Council's desire to build something better, however, the City paid twice for the same service and continues to pay for poor service as a result of the termination of the Council's activities. Council should have halted the ACS contract and forced a rebid. Ciber et al could have bidded legitmately and maybe the City and it's citizens would received a better price and service. Instead Council built a competing system on City dollars that basically constituted a double pay and waste of tax payers dollars. Apparently, Muppet's Puppet, Anthony Jones did realize this when he allowed the Council work with Ciber to proceed. Unfortunately for Council, they actually contributed to tax payer waste when their intention was good.
To make matters worse, the City's Public Works department implemented a system that was supposed to be expanded into the Citywide 311 system in 2000. The software was paid for and the expansion and use of the application was halted by Meffert. Thus paving the way for the ACS contract. My City Hall anon says Public Works just paid the vendor to reinstate that system and will be integrating the system with 311 even though it has the capabilities to do both 311 and Departmental work management. So essentially, the City has paid 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! times for a 311 system. Tell me there's not something wrong in the Technolgy Department. But more importantly, it shows how ignorant our leaders and department heads are regarding technology. No wonder Meffert is able to hook and cook so many contracts. No one has a clue who's who and what contractors are connected or not connected to Meffert. I am sure that's why Council wanted all the MIS contracts and held the MIS budget in reserve. All the MIS budget was released except 311. Council could have held them all however the administration used the "Police, Fire and EMS won't get paid" scare tactic to force City Council to release the rest of the MIS budget.
If Cerasolli wants it, this is an easy win to kick off the new year.
This second post verifies some info I just got yesterday from a very informed source. Get this....when Nagin took office, ACS's biggest contract was around 1 million bucks, from our city, no less. The "plan" was to pump this company up over Nagin's tenure to a multi-million dollar company...which it is now....thanks to New Orleans based contracts. Meffert and crew didn't dig that and they're goal was to pull all that cash their way via Ciber then subcontracting down to Imagine, Netmethods, Intelliport or whatever the hell LLC. they were posing as that week.
Now a really good question is "What were the initial contacts between Nagin and ACS....from the beginning of his first term?" We already know his history with Muppet...but what's going on with ACS...yet another Texas based company? They have contracts all through our state from the Louisiana Dept. of Social Services to the N.O. Sewerage and Water Board.
The other note is the sheer amount of money which has been distributed through the MIS contracts. Does anyone have a grand total or even know how much money Nagin has spent? Where is he getting the budget for all this?
Folks...we're not talking about a couple million dollars...we're talking at least a hundred million. I, for one, don't see the return.
I agree with Nois Mois, I think Cerasoli should gut the IT department and the MIS budget right out of the gate. I've heard so many stories I can't even remember them all. It just seems to keep going on...every month there's a new Tech contract which ends up costing us millions of dollars and shit doesn't work....from crime cameras to interoperability to 311 to those fucking, evil green parking thingies which don't take any credit card known to man (ok that may not be Tech contract, but I had to throw it in...I would love an audit of those things to find out how many are actually functional).
Nagin just seems to have a knack for spending a shitload of money and getting shitty results....bomb proof garbage cans anyone? David?