New York City School Construction Authority

Implementation of the Enterprise Resource Planning System

The construction and major rehabilitation of buildings in the New York City public school system is performed by contractors hired and overseen by the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA). In June 2000, SCA began to implement a new automated information system (the Enterprise Resource Planning System) for monitoring its construction projects. We examined the implementation of this system and found that implementation had fallen behind schedule and the expected cost of the system had doubled from $5 million to at least $10 million. We determined that SCA had not formally monitored the cost and progress of implementation.

We also determined that, in a number of critical respects, the system had not been planned or implemented in accordance with generally recognized standards for the development and implementation of computer systems. For example, when SCA planned for the type of system to implement, it did not perform a cost-benefit analysis and did not formally consider different alternatives for implementation. As a result, the new system is more likely to be delayed, and the cost of system development is more likely to be higher than necessary. We also determined that SCA’s approval of the system development work often was not documented. In the absence of documentation, there was less assurance the work was thoroughly reviewed before it was approved. We recommended that significant improvements be made in the implementation of the remaining parts of the system.

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