• State CIO Letter to BOE/CROS Officials Explains Reasoning for Delaying Project

    July 16th, 2015 by admin Categories: Blogs Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

    It appears that the rationale for the State CIO to delay BOE’s Centralized Revenue Opportunity System (CROS) Project, preventing CROS officials from releasing their RFP earlier this month as they had planned, was the lack of a “master schedule”.  As State CIO Carlos Ramos wrote:

    We focus particular attention on the underlying issues that cause projects to fail or to run into significant challenges. One of the common elements of failed and troubled projects is insufficiency of planning for the time, effort and resources required to successfully complete a project. This is directly attributable to the lack of comprehensive documentation of a project’s related activities, timeframes and staff resources…

    Once a contract is executed, any delays in progress caused by the unavailability of key BOE staff or insufficiency of schedule planning will have an adverse financial impact to the vendor and could expose the state to significant financial consequences.”

    Carlos’ argument certainly makes some sense; however, it should be pointed out that this project under its current schedule will not be executed until June 1, 2016. Seems like there should be plenty of time to iron out those staffing and scheduling issues.

    Frankly, perhaps BOE’s greatest fear should not be a detailed project schedule at this point (which won’t even include bidders’ final proposal input until October 2015), instead the CROS Project’s worst case scenario would be that the RFP only elicits one bid, a situation that has occurred all too frequently in the past on large, major IT projects like this one. One bidder procurements leave no room for competitive cost comparison, and may attract vendors with less capable qualifications. See 22nd Century Payroll Project.

    Ironically, one of the primary reasons for the state only receiving one bid has been the huge amount of resources in terms of money and time it involves to bid on one of these projects. When a project like CROS takes four years in procurement alone, one can understand why it attracts relatively few bidders. Our sources report that of the 100+ attendees representing dozens of IT vendors at the CROS Bidders’ Conference in August of 2013, at this stage only two potential bidders are left standing – CGI and Fast Enterprises.  And one of these is reportedly wobbling…

    Finally, given the esoteric nature of these intragovernmental squabbles and the inherent lack of transparency in California state government operations in general it is very unusual to see such agency disagreements become public. However, at TechLeader.TV we believe that the airing of such government activity is most heartily welcome, even if it did take the SacBee’s Jon Ortiz to give it a nudge!

    SacBee story and Ramos letter here: Why California’s IT chief pumped brakes on $309 million state project

    Anonymous Commenting is Welcome. To have your name or website appear with your comment, fill out the form below. All Comments are moderated to prevent spam. Thanks for joining in the discussion!