Department of Taxation and Finance

Progress in the Implementation of e-Mpire

In 2001, the Department of Taxation and Finance began to replace its existing computer systems with a single, integrated system (the e-MPIRE system) that would contain the major business processes for all tax types. We examined the actions taken by the Department in developing a budget for the e-MPIRE project and in monitoring actual costs against budgeted costs. We found the Department did not include all anticipated costs in the projectís budget until late in 2005, after we initiated our audit. In particular, the Department had not budgeted one of the projectís most significant costs: the cost of the in-house staff assigned to the project team. We also found the Department did not have a system for providing complete, accurate, and up-to-date information about actual project costs. As a result, Department managers could not closely monitor the projectís financial status to ensure the project was completed on time and within budget.

At the time of our audit, the projectís estimated date of completion had been pushed two years and the estimated consultant costs had increased by 44 percent to $92.9 million (the total estimated cost of completion was $144.2 million). To help prevent further escalations in project costs, we recommended the Department develop an appropriate cost monitoring system. We also examined the Departmentís controls over the hiring and payment of the consultants on the project team (some of whom were paid more than $200 an hour). We found that a number of improvements were needed if the Department was to have reasonable assurance the payments were not higher than necessary and the consultants actually worked all the hours paid.

For a complete copy of Report 2005-S-50 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.