The Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office and the New York City Department of Investigation announced Dec. 15 fraud and money laundering charges against four consultants working on the CityTime project, a Web-based time and attendance project that has been in the works for more than a decade.

Charges were brought against Mark Mazer, whose company was hired to perform quality assurance services on the CityTime project, and three others.

“The shame is that a project to save time and money on the city payroll fell prey in part to the accused swindlers who cost the taxpayers a stunning $80 million and counting,” said Department of Investigations Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn in a statement.

New York City has suspended Joel Bondy, executive director of the Office of Payroll Administration. Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith has taken over management of the project. Bondy formerly worked at Spherion, the vendor at the heart of the scandal.

CityTime’s cost has ballooned to $722 million, according to The New York Post. That’s more than 10 times the original estimate.

Source: The New York Post

NASCIO Accepting Award Nominations

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) is now accepting nominations for its Technology Champion Award. The award recognizes outstanding contributions in IT in the public sector.

“Through NASCIO’s Technology Champion Award, we strive to acknowledge innovators who promote excellence in both technology and good government. Nominees should have a proven track record of sustained interest in and advocacy for IT in the public sector,” according to NASCIO’s website.

Delaware Sen. Tom Carper won the 2009 award for his efforts to promote IT policy.

Carper recognized cyber-security as a national issue and encouraged attention to be brought to emerging cyber-security threats.

The Technology Champion Award winner will be announced next May during NASCIO’s midyear conference. Nominations for the award will be accepted through Jan. 21, 2011.

Source: NASCIO

California Requires Gecoding

The California Office of the State Chief Information Officer issued Wednesday, Dec. 15, a new policy that requires all executive branch agencies to geocode databases or applications related to providing social services, law enforcement, economic development, tax collection and emergency response.

The policy requires that an address’s latitude and longitude coordinates are included as geographic data to develop new information sources for state programs.

“By comparing new sets of geographic data, agencies will be able to discover new patterns of activity to help solve problems across the state.  For example, by comparing the frequency and location of illnesses to toxic waste sites, maps can be developed to better understand any correlations,” said acting CIO Christy Quinlan. “The state has a tremendous amount of data that can be leveraged to improve our understanding of what is happening in cities and neighborhoods throughout California.”

The policy is outlined in Information Technology Policy Letter 10-15.

Source: California Office of the Chief Information Officer