Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb and Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner today jointly announced the merging of financial management systems under the County’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne system.
"For the past four years, the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County have been diligently working and planning for the implementation of a joint financial management system," said Lamb. "Today, we ‘go live’ with a system that will save City taxpayers millions, and will make City government more transparent, effective and efficient."
County Controller’s department staff, which has been utilizing the system since it was purchased by the County in 2002, will be training 117 City employees who will use the system initially.
"Today represents a significant step in the collaboration between City and County, which hopefully will lead to more joint ventures in the future," Wagner said.
Wagner, whose professional background includes serving as a business analyst for an international Information Technology company working with state and municipal governments, cautioned that such major transitions do not occur completely smoothly.
"I'm confident that our staffs will work cooperatively to overcome the inevitable bumps in the road and work toward a highly functioning system for both governments," Wagner said.
The City has already saved approximately million by utilizing the County system rather than purchasing its own, and will realize another 0,000 per year in savings once currently outsourced payroll systems go online.
"City and County taxpayers made a significant investment of million when the County purchased this system. Bringing the City on multiplies the dividends," Wagner said. "The City gets a quality system at a deep discount and training is being performed by our own public employees rather than expensive contractors. This is a prime example of being smarter with taxpayers’ money while still improving performance."
"Using the JD Edwards system will streamline and modernize our operations and make it easier to track areas where spending is too high," Lamb said. "Our efficiency and transparency will improve."
The City and County administrations shared statements of support for the merger:
"Never before have City and County employees collaborated on a project this large in scope—and the great news is that this was done on time, on budget and with great success," Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said. "With support from the County, City government is now using top-of-the-line financial management tools that will make our operations more efficient and open-the-door for future collaboration with the County."
County Executive Rich Fitzgerald commented, "I am very proud to see this project come to fruition. On County Council, I was pleased to support the project and, as County Executive, am thrilled to have this cooperative effort kick off so quickly. This, I hope, is the first of many projects where the county and its municipalities can work together for the benefit of the taxpayers."
Both City and County officials expressed hope that this is the first step in creating a Shared Services Organization which City and County authorities, the Pittsburgh Public Schools, and other school districts and municipalities would be able to join, saving millions in taxpayer dollars.