The Computer Ate My Budget
from the or-did-it-just-eat-Tacoma-Washington... dept
What is it with large, government computer systems and their inability to actually work? Last month we wrote about problems with an expensive SAP computer system the Federal Technology Service had installed that was causing people to cry by having such user friendly features as making the simple “save” feature take 15 steps. Now, the city of Tacoma, Washington is admitting that their $51 million SAP implementation has made it impossible for them to do a budget. One of the reasons the city spent so much on this fancy new computer system was to have more accurate data for budget forecasts. However, it turns out that SAP doesn’t actually have a budget module, so they’ve been trying to kludge stuff together. Right now, that means that the city can’t actually figure out how much money they’ll have at the end of the year, or how much they’re likely to bring in. Computer glitches certainly happen, but you have to wonder why the city would agree to switch on the system that couldn’t do some of the most basic features it was supposed to.