Audit Finds Project Management Lacking in NYC 9-1-1 Center Consolidation (3/22/12)
Thursday, March 22, 2012 | Comments

An audit of the New York City Emergency Communications Transformation Program (ECTP) found that overall project management was lacking. New York City Office of Comptroller John C. Liu said that because of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) initial underestimated time and the technical constraints involved in implementing the multiagency mission-critical ECTP, it did not allow for project completion on a timely basis.

In 2004 ECTP began to consolidate emergency communications within the city. ECTP is a multiagency, multiyear program with the goals of modernizing all aspects of the emergency response system with upgraded telecommunications infrastructure and providing two fully integrated public-safety answering centers (PSACs) that include call-taking and dispatch operations for first responders from the city’s police department (NYPD) and fire department (FDNY), including its EMS unit.

DoITT contracted with Hewlett-Packard (HP) in 2005 to provide services as a system integrator1 for PSAC1 and as project manager over other contractors providing services and equipment for PSAC1. A governance structure was established to monitor the multicity agency ECTP project, and an outside independent quality assurance (QA) contractor was retained to monitor HP’s performance and to advise on the overall ECTP project.

The audit offered several recommendations. DoITT, in conjunction with ECTP executive sponsors, should have its current governance strategy expanded, formulated into a plan, reviewed and formally approved by all stakeholders, and conveyed to all pertinent ECTP team members, the office said. The expanded areas should include operational coverage for PSAC1 upon full completion and occupancy, and line of authority for operations within PSAC1 should be clearly defined and conveyed to stakeholders.

DoITT should increase its efforts to fill open positions with appropriately qualified personnel to ensure that the ECTP has sufficient resources required for the ongoing monitoring and management of the ECTP.

In addition, DoITT should improve its strategy to provide QA coverage by retaining, on a temporary basis, independent QA experts to monitor the balance of HP’s contractual performance for the duration of its contract. In addition, DoITT should consider a QA arrangement to monitor Grumman’s performance at PSAC2.

In their response, DoITT officials agreed with the three recommendations.

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