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The Whoops! Files

By Elizabeth Bennett  |  Posted 2004-04-01 Print this article Print

Government officials have their share of information-system hang-ups.

Although the federal government's information-system miscues get a lot of attention, there are plenty of local- and regional-level snafus. Here's a sampling of a few recent projects that have run aground.

Bexar's Bear of a Project San Antonio's Bexar County (pronounced "bear") is feeling the hard edge of a recent SAP installation. The $4 million initiative, dubbed CHRIS (County Human Resource Information System), was installed by Baltimore-based Cedar Enterprise Solutions Inc. and was supposed to track the compensation, vacation and sick days of the Texas county's 4,500-plus employees.

Last year, Bexar officials discovered CHRIS was arbitrarily adding and subtracting leave time from employee records. The flaws were so large that many county offices reverted to and are still using their old systems. County Clerk Gerry Rickhoff is not happy and is demanding accountability.

"What we'd like to do here is develop baseline measurements for success: Did we get what we paid for? Did we get the full measure?" he says. "Those are the questions that remain provocative here."

Senior Writer
Elizabeth has been writing and reporting at Baselinesince its inaugural issue. Most recently, Liz helped Fortune 500 companies with their online strategies as a customer experience analyst at Creative Good. Prior to that, she worked in the organization practice at McKinsey & Co. She holds a B.A. from Vassar College.
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