How could Eric Alterman write an entire column about Michael Bloomberg’s mismanagement as mayor of New York without mentioning the CityTime scandal even once? More than $500 million was embezzled, most of it on Bloomberg’s watch, and most of the crooks involved private sector contractors.
It’s bad enough when governments contract out work that could and should be performed by civil servants, but the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations contracted out oversight for the CityTime project. Oversight?!? I’ve worked on a multi-year automated time and attendance project for a large public sector agency myself, and our handful of contract programmers, trainers and business analysts were supervised every step of the way by a similar number of agency information technology, human resources and business office staff, with agency executives providing overall oversight. Bloomberg contracted out that whole middle layer of public supervision and oversight, and his appointee to oversee the whole project seemed to be more interested in protecting some of those contractors than in getting a good system built.
CityTime is a scandal that should regularly be thrown in the faces of the peddlers of privatization and contracting out and the dogmatists of the Holy Libertarian Church of the Indisputable Efficiency of the Market, be they ensconced at the Manhattan Institute or the Cato Institute, or in the pages and editorial boards of the daily newspapers and Reason magazine.
Charles K. Alexander II
Sep 29 2014 - 5:03pm