As Portland city commissioners beef up their efforts to manage technology projects in the wake of a devastating November audit of Portland's new software program, city bureaus continue to struggle with that updated technology.
Yesterday, the City Council voted unanimously to approve the formation of a new Citizen Information Technology Oversight Committee. The brainchild of Commissioner Dan Saltzman, the committee will comprise five non-City of Portland employees who will serve as appointed watchdogs for new Portland technology projects.
Also this week, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (along with all other city bureaus) submitted its budget request to the mayor. In its proposal, the transportation bureau asked for $210,000 to permanently hire three employees to deal with the unanticipated challenges of the city's new software program, which Auditor LaVonne Griffin Valade called “expensive, late and incomplete" in November. The transportation bureau says it needs the extra staff to manage other employees' timekeeping records.
Saltzman says it's that kind of continued financial fallout that he hopes to avoid with the city's new technology committee.
"That gets to why we need to have more oversight in the beginning," Saltzman says.