FBISD pumps more money into controversial software program
Consultant hired to install tax-regulation updates
By ZEN T.C. ZHENG HOUSTON CHRONICLE
After a multimillion-dollar investment into a problem-ridden business software system, Fort Bend Independent School District officials Monday OK’d another commitment of up to $60,000 to update the program.
The payment will be made to a consultant with Red River, a Lebanon, NH-based information technology service company, for a nine-week project to integrate government tax updates into the system, said Robert Calvert, the school district’s chief informational officer.
The financial and human resources management software system, known as PeopleSoft, is provided by the namesake company, which issues about six updates during a year to incorporate tax-regulation changes by local, state and federal taxing jurisdictions, Calvert said.
The software system, which the district introduced in early 2007 to replace an old system, has been plagued with technical problems from the beginning, causing issues such as payroll snags — delayed payrolls and lack of timely pay increases — and prompting officials to repeatedly allocate large amounts of funds for fixes ¾ the last batch totaling $300,000 six months ago.
Calvert said about 95 percent of the system replacement has been completed. Total project cost could be anywhere between $5 million and $10 million, he said. That replacement work has prevented timely installation of tax updates released this year and eventually an outside consultant has to be hired for the job as the updates must be integrated into the system by the year-end, Calvert said.
Before joining the rest of the school board in approving the $60,000 request, board president Sonal Bhuchar and trustee David Reitz expressed concerns about the cost.
“That $60,000 can hire a person for a whole year,” Reitz said after learning that the price is for a nine-week project by one person.
Get the full article: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nb/fortbend/news/6105838
2009 FBISD Tax Hearing (On YouTube)
CLICK HERE FOR THE 2009 FBISD CONTROVERSIAL TAX HEARING (YES THEY ARE RAISING THEM AGAIN--see petition of over 500 district taxpayers asking for board accountability) --In case anyone missed it they raised the property tax rate again (4th time) in 2010 and more than likely will do so again in 2011 facing another projected 15-20 million dollar budget deficit, according to some media reports. ***NEW*** ..Petition TO STOP THE GSTC (Global Science Museum being planned at the district central office--near $30 million dollar project that superintendent Jenney is pushing): http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stopthegcst/ (see update below on this apparently ending this project after 2 years)