No JUSTIS costs city big bucks

The City is 10 years behind schedule and more than 40 percent over budget for the JUSTIS project, a high-tech system that would connect seven criminal justice departments and allow them to share information about ongoing cases and access reliable archives.

The current system, which uses technology dating back to 1974, has numerous problems including the inability to search for a defendant’s case history or produce reports quickly.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 to approve extending a contract – it has been extended numerous times — with a software company that claims intellectual rights to the city’s current system.

That did not sit well with Supervisor David Campos, who opposed the contract extension.

“When you’re talking about amending a contract an eighth time, where the contract was awarded without any kind of competing bidding process, I think it’s pretty disturbing to see something like that happen,” he said.

Campos noted that the contract has increased from the city spending $1 million to “now over $8 million.”

Jon Walton, who works for the Department of Technology, explained that with every JUSTIS delay, the contact has to be extended because no one else, he believes, can service the existing system. The situation must continue until JUSTIS is up and running, he said.

Budget Analyst Harvey Rose’s report shows JUSTIS will now cost The City $21.79 million, 40.6 percent, or $6.29 more than the project’s original cost estimate. The system was initially supposed to be in place by 2001.

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