WNYC's Bob Hennelly is an award-winning investigative journalist. While at WNYC he has reported on a wide gamut of major public policy questions ranging from immigration and homeland security to power outages and utility mergers.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Commissioner for Information Technology and Telecommunications Carole Post is leaving her job to take a top position at the New York Law School. Post was the point person for the Bloomberg administration's drive to upgrade the City's IT systems as well as its popular 311 Call Center.
Post was tapped to lead the agency back in December of 2009. She first joined City government in 2001 starting in the Department of Buildings. She was the first woman to lead the City's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications and has committed to stay on until a replacement is named.
Post's more than two year tenure had several high profile successes. Under her leadership the agency was able to integrate the IT systems for dozens of City agencies cutting long term operating costs and increasing IT system efficiency. But Post inherited a lead role in the Bloomberg Administration's troubled modernization of the City's antiquated 911 emergency call system. The high profile re-design fell years behind schedule and ran hundreds of millions of dollars over initial estimates. A key problem, also flagged in the CityTime payroll makeover scandal, was the city's lax oversight of outside contractors
In 2010 the day to day management responsibility for the 911 project was shifted directly from Post's purview at DoITT to the Mayor's Office of Citywide Emergency Communications under the direct oversight of former Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith. Goldsmith left after just fifteen months on the job after he was arrested on domestic violence charges that were ultimately dismissed.
In January Post joined Mayor Bloomberg in announcing a major milestone for the 911 re-design with what the Administration hailed as the first ever successful integration of Police, Fire and EMS call takers in the City's Brooklyn MetroTech facility. But both the City's Fire department unions and members of the 911 workforce have raised concerns that the new system will not prevent the kinds of system breakdowns documented after the September 11th attack, the 2003 power black out and the blizzard of December 2010.
Earlier this month the Bloomberg Administration was ordered by a state court judge to release a City consultant's report that raises serious questions about the status of City's 911 re-design. Mayor Bloomberg says the City should not be compelled to release the report because it is a preliminary draft. The City's Fire Unions are pushing for the public release because they say it will document the new system has actually dramatically increased fire response times something the Administration denies..
Last month City Comptroller John Liu released an audit that documented the 911 call system makeover that was originally supposed to cost $1.3 billion dollars was now slated to cost $2.3 billion dollars. Initially the project was supposed to be finished in 2008 but now Liu says the final completion date will be in 2015.