Officials now say an ongoing ERP overhaul project is going to take at least four months longer and cost up to $7.7 million more than expected. Council members say paying to complete the project is the only real choice.
(TNS) — Cuyahoga County’s IT system overhaul will take four months longer to complete than what was expected and cost $7.7 million over its $25 million budget, County Council learned Monday.
The four-month delay means the project, known as the ERP, won’t be complete until April 2020, 16 months after its original deadline, project director Jack Rhyne, an employee for ERP contractor InFor, said Monday at County Council’s finance committee meeting.
Rhyne also said the project now is expected to cost $32.7 million by the time it is finished – 30% above the project’s original budget.
Monday’s hearing was the first time ERP leaders disclosed publicly the project’s final expected price tag and four-month delay.
Councilman Jack Schron said the delays and cost overruns boil down “to leadership at the highest level of the county,” because “any good leader would’ve had this under control a long time ago.”
Schron, like other council members who spoke to cleveland.com last week about the ERP, said he would vote for a $1.5 million contract extension that comprises some of the cost overruns because the council is left with no other choice.
“I’m going to support the next round of expenditures because it needs to be done. There’s too much taxpayer money invested in the project.”
Rhyne blamed the delay and a portion of the budget-busting costs on the poor state of data in the county’s legacy IT systems, an audit finding that will require up to one month of additional testing on the ERP’s tracking of the county’s bank transactions, and the loss of 12 key county and contractor staff members in recent months.
In addition to those losses, Chief Information Officer Scot Rourke, who was the ERP’s one-time project manager, was placed on leave more than a year ago after he was named in subpoenas in the ongoing county corruption investigation.
Rourke is still technically the head of the IT Department, but he has not reported to work since February 2018.
Councilwoman Sunny Simon asked why the administration of County Executive Armond Budish has not hired someone to fill Rourke’s role, but Rhyne declined to answer and said that was a question suited for the county’s Human Resources Department.
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