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Loudoun County’s $40 million ERP system hits more snags

After working around the clock on a multi-million dollar upgrade to the county’s financial management system, the troubled enterprise resource planning (ERP) project recently ran into a slew of more problems.

Over the last several years, the county has spent nearly $40 million on an upgraded ERP -- a system that keeps track of everything from taxes, assessments and human resources for Loudoun County government and public schools. But for years the county has bungled rolling out phases one, two and three of the integrated software system.

The latest phase two implementation of the project started in January 2014, but was put on hold less than a year later, and then relaunched.

At a July 20 Board of Supervisors meeting, County Administrator Tim Hemstreet said county staff had worked 12- to 14-hour shifts through the week and over the weekend to go live with phase two. At the time, he said the system would likely go live at the start of the following week.

The county said phase two of the system went live on July 24 and on Aug. 2, the Employee Self-Service function was opened to all employees.

“The new myLoudoun (Oracle) system launched on Aug. 2, and we anticipated that we might experience a few issues when launching a system of this size and complexity,” county spokeswoman Mary Frances Forcier said in an email.

Forcier noted that when the system was brought online for employees, they had identified a “few concerns,” and an issue was later discovered with the time and entry function. To fix the issue, she said the county stopped employees from entering and approving time.

Payroll liaisons in each department then began entering time and leave for all staff for the current pay period, although she said the county anticipates restoring access to the time entry function by Aug. 14.

Forcier also said employees experienced other “relatively minor issues,” including miscalculated holiday pay for some fire and rescue employees; miscalculated health care and dependent care deductions; as well as kinks in the interfacing between separate systems used by the general county workforce and public safety employees.

“Naturally, any impact on an employee’s paycheck is considered very important, so the team is working to address any errors as quickly as possible,” Forcier said. “All things considered, linking several different systems and more than 5,000 employees, it was a very good ‘go live.’”

In 2011, a previous Board of Supervisors voted to authorize the negotiation of a contract not to exceed $21 million to implement ORACLE eBusiness Suite as the ERP system for Loudoun County government and public schools.

Since that time, the county has spent millions more to smooth out implementation hiccups and add more technology positions to run the system.

At a monthly ERP implementation update in early July to the board’s finance committee, project manager Vince Marchesano warned the committee that a July 24 “go live” date for the county government was probably unlikely.

“I don’t know what else to say -- it’s not great news, usually isn’t,” quipped Supervisor Matt Letourneau (R-Dulles), chairman of the finance committee.

Marchesano said LCPS decided to delay their “go live” until Aug. 21 to “allow additional time for issue and defect resolution, testing, staff training and [to] reduce overall risk.”

However, LCPS spokesman Wayde Byard said the school system’s go live date has been postponed until Oct. 2.


Contact the writer at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or on Twitter at @sydneykashiwagi.

Comments


Government incompetence and mismanagement on full display….and the BoS wants a 62% raise for being responsible for this huge waste of public resources?  40M is a ridiculous amount of money for something like this, soneone should check to ensure someone in the IT dept. is not cashing in somehow on this….smells like waste, fraud and abuse.


Where is SGP with a solution to a real county problem?


Unsure why they’re using ORACLE anything? Very expensive with many bugs. I hope they can recover some of the cost, but doubt it with this group of BOS. Taxes are sure to go up from this blunder.


Government cost overrun. Sound familiar just look at the Silver Line or guess what the price tag for a Potomac River Bridge crossing will be. Any estimate by the government has a built in “it’s to big to stop now” component hence the low ball bids that morphs into additional expense. Ask yourself has a government contract ever come in under budget, lol!

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