To ensure that the board can more effectively exercise oversight for the department's significant information technology projects, the board should develop reporting standards for the department's management to follow when discussing the status of information technology projects with the standing committee or the board. Such reporting standards should, at a minimum, specify the frequency with which the department's management makes such reports and require the following disclosures about each information technology project:
o The amount of project growth, in terms of both budget and scope of work, from initial project estimates through current projections.
o The results from system testing and a listing of the critical defects that exist and must be fixed prior to system use.
o The concerns the quality assurance contractor has raised and how the department is addressing them.
As previously indicated in responses to the State Auditor, LADWP has been involved in multiple lawsuits from customers alleging damages resulting from the implementation of the customer billing system. In July of 2017, the Los Angeles Superior Court issued its order giving final approval to the settlement of several of those cases. The settlement calls for refunds and credits for all customer overpayments and for LADWP to meet a set of billing system and customer service performance metrics. To assure proper oversight of the litigation and remediation efforts, LADWP's entire board of commissioners has been regularly briefed, in closed session, on these issues. With the settlement now final, LADWP has begun the several year process - through 2020 - of implementing the settlement agreement, with regular updates of the board of commissioners planned as the implementation proceeds.
LADWP's focus on remediation of the customer billing system has meant that it continues to place other pending major technology systems projects on a slower track. LADWP staff is working with the entire board of commissioners to review these projects as they begin to move forward, with a particular focus on assuring appropriate and ongoing executive management review and board oversight of these projects. It is expected that the entire board of commissioners will continue to provide oversight of these projects given their critical nature.
LADWP is pleased to provide this update to the State Auditor.
The board oversight the department describes is a positive step. However, the recommendation is specific to creating reporting standards and the department has not described any such standards.
See Response to Recommendation 1.
Discussion on the status of technology projects is now included in the monthly reports by LADWP's Chief Operating Officer to the Board of Water and Power Commissioners. Depending upon the size of the project, the report may include the scope of work, budget, and schedule from initial project estimates through current projections including the status of the project as to testing, defect, and enhancement resolutions.
Although the department asserts that its monthly board reports include the concerns the quality assurance contractor raised and how it is addressing them, our recommendation is to the board to develop reporting standards for the department's management to follow. The department has not substantiated that the board has developed these reporting standards.
As per this recommendation LADWP's Chief Administrative Officer will prepare and present reports on a quarterly basis, or more frequently if needed, on the status of the Information Technology projects to the Board of Water and Power Commissioners, which will cover the scope of work, budget, and schedule from initial project estimates through current projections including the status of the project as to testing, defect, and enhancement resolutions.
The department did not substantiate its claim of full implementation. It did not support that the Chief Administrative Officer's reports were agendized and that the reports' contents address our recommendation.
As explained in the letter dated May 11, 2015; staff is reviewing possible metrics to create a reporting "dashboard" that could be used for major conversions to measure such things as original and updated estimates of the budget and scope of projects, results of system testing and listing of defects, and issues raised by a quality assurance contractor. These recommended metrics will be brought to the Board at a later date.
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.