City Controller John Liu is refusing to approve a new $8 million contract the Bloomberg administration has awarded for the city's controversial payroll and timekeeping system.
Liu wants to know now why the computerized system known as CityTime has ballooned to more than 10 times its original price tag.
When development of CityTime began in 1998, officials promised it would use new-age hand scanners and other technology to eliminate abuse of employee timecards by thousands of workers.
The system has instead turned into an uncontrolled gravy train for high-paid consultants and a boondoggle for taxpayers.
CityTime "has a long history of extraordinary increases, rising from $68 million to $722 million over 10 years," Liu's director of contract administration, John Goddard, wrote on Feb. 9 in notifying Bloomberg aides of his rejection of the new contract for Spherion Inc.
Goddard noted that since 2001, Spherion has been in charge of monitoring all contractor performance on CityTime and was supposed to be controlling costs.
For that work, the city has shelled out $51 million to Spherion. Meanwhile, the project's main contractor, defense giant SAIC, has received $670 million.
The News reported in December that several top Spherion consultants, among them an ex-business partner of the city's payroll office chief, Joel Bondy, have each earned more than $400,000 a year to oversee CityTime. More than a dozen Spherion consultants averaged $300,000 each in 2009.
Another CityTime consultant from SAIC, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani's technology chief Sal Salamone, made millions of dollars as a full-time computer industry lobbyist before city agencies while at the same time collecting $250,000 annually for his work on the time-keeping project.
Gonzelez says until now, there has been no outside audit of the project.
Just the way Bloomberg likes it.
He brings the data, you trust him with it.
And the public gets screwed.
Liu needs to keep looking into Bloomberg's no-bid contracts and follow who is on the receiving end of his largesse.
Third terms are notoriously scandal-plagued here in NYC.
If Liu and others dig into the no-bid contracts Bloomberg has handed out the last 8 years and continues to try and hand out now, they're going to have plenty of scandal material.