Troubled muni project receives more funding, audit
More than $30 million and two years overdue, the Anchorage Assembly voted to continue funding the SAP project.
SAP is software designed to automate city government, like calculating payroll.
Funding for the SAP project, however, is not a blank check. The Assembly approved increased funding by $3 million, along with an external audit to figure out when it might come online and how much it will cost.
The municipality has been working to implement the software since 2011. At $31 million, the price tag is three times what was originally predicted.
SAP is designed to replace the system the municipality is currently using, which has been deemed ineffective. But after so long, and with no deadline in sight, some Assembly members wonder if it’s worth continuing to fund the project.
“The go-live deadline is unknown. They’re not going to meet the January 1 deadline. It’s not going to happen,” said Assembly member Amy Demboski Tuesday night. She co-sponsored the move to conduct an external audit. “As I recall … it’s going to cost more, it’s going to take longer and in the end, they’re not 100 percent sure it’s going to work yet.”
Mayor Dan Sullivan says it is.
“I just urge this body, do not make a financial mistake for this city and stop this project in its tracks,” Sullivan said. “It’s only going to cost you a lot more in the end, and we could not not implement.”
The external audit comes at a $200,000 price tag. The debate between Assembly members became heated at times, as many expressed frustration the project has already taken long enough and cost much more than expected.
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