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Mayor Charlie Hales

City of Portland Mayor Charlie Hales

Phone: 503-823-4120

1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 340, Portland, OR 97204

Audit: Public Safety system overhauls largely don’t meet budget, timelines

THURSDAY, April 4, 2013 – The Public Safety System Revitalization Program for the city of Portland exceeded its overall budget and schedule goals, according to an audit released today by City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade.

"The budget and schedule increases in the PSSRP program are largely the result of a problematic and shifting governance structure and inconsistent management," Griffin-Valade said. "Despite repeated recommendations from outside quality assurance specialists and the lessons learned from other major city programs, the city was unable to effectively oversee this significant, but expensive undertaking."

Mayor Charlie Hales reviewed the audit before it was released. “The audit shows that, of four projects, two came in under budget, and one came in on time. The others did not. That’s not great news, especially when we are talking about public safety,” Hales said. “On the other hand, this didn’t surprise anyone. The audit shines a light on serious short-comings that are being addressed right now.”

The PSSRP program was established in 2006 to manage the replacement or upgrade of several vital public safety systems, including a new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system used to process 911 calls. Auditors found the CAD replacement project was largely successful.

However, two of the other three projects exceeded their cost goals and all three exceeded their schedule goals. The three remaining large projects are the Public Safety Radio System replacement project, the Portland Police Data System replacement project, and the Portland Fire and Rescue system replacement or upgrade project.

The entire PSSRP initiative was expected to cost $70 million and to be completed by December 2012. Projects are now planned for completion in December 2015, with projected costs of $80 million.

Auditors make several recommendations intended to benefit the three open PSSRP projects and other current and future city technology projects.

Hales and Chief Administrative Officer Jack Graham provided written responses to the audit.