City pushes back software project launch date

nherz@adn.comAugust 26, 2013 

The city is pushing back the start date for a new software system that was already more than a year behind its original launch.

The system, known as SAP, is supposed to improve the efficiency of the city's data processing in the areas of accounting, purchasing, and benefits administration -- replacing an aging PeopleSoft application.

In an email to city officials on Friday, Anchorage's information technology director, Lance Ahern, said the city "will not go live with SAP on October 1."

He did not specify a new date, but added that city workers and contractors will devise a new launch plan, which would be finalized by the city's chief financial officer, Lucinda Mahoney, then presented to Mayor Dan Sullivan and the Assembly.

Ahern, Mahoney, and a spokeswoman for Sullivan did not respond to a request for comment.

It was unclear whether the delay would affect the project's budget. In April, Mahoney told the Assembly that the price of the SAP upgrade had risen from $10.6 million to $15.1 million.

Assemblywoman Elvi Gray-Jackson, a vocal critic of the project, said she was worried that the delays would lead to another increase in the price tag.

"Inevitably, it's going to cost us more money," she said.

Reach Nathaniel Herz at nherz@adn.com or 257-4311.

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