By Karina Ioffee
Two years after Marin sued vendors on charges of bilking it out of millions of dollars, the county is looking for a new company to deliver and implement a financial and human resource system for its 3,000 employees.
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors is expected to approve the move, allowing software companies to bid on the work. The county has 2,000 full-time employees along with 1,000 part time and "extra hires."
Marin installed a new software system in 2006, employing Deloitte Consulting and SAP, a German software company for the work. But in 2011, the county sued the vendors, claiming they had engaged in a pattern of racketeering and used inexperienced workers on the project, which led to problems. They also said only about a third of the promised functionality of the software was ever built.
The suit was settled this January with Deloitte agreeing to pay $3.9 million back, much less than the $45 million Marin County spent on the project, including $11 million on consulting fees and $30 million for software and implementation services.
As part of the settlement, neither Deloitte, SAP nor Marin County took responsibility for the failed project, which some said was overly complex for such a small county.
Now Marin officials say they’ve learned the painful lessons and are committed to installing an effective system to handle the county's financial and human resource needs.
“We are taking a very deliberate and cautious approach this time,” said Marin County Administrator Matthew Hymel in a prepared statement.
That includes vetting all proposals by an executive steering committee of department directors, a working group of citizens and experts from other government agencies.
Responses to the RFP will be accepted until Dec. 16. County staff will consider vendor experience, software functionality, costs, implementation approaches, input from employees who will use the system, and ongoing savings to be generated in making its recommendation to the Board of Supervisors.
Finalists will be invited to give product demonstrations in February and March 2014, and staff plans to recommend a vendor to the Board of Supervisors by summer 2014. The roll out will occur over the following year.
For more details on the Request for Proposals, click here.