'Nightmare' software prompts resignation of county controller - WNEM TV 5

'Nightmare' software prompts resignation of county controller

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GENESEE COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

The now former Genesee County controller was about to get a huge headache for the new year.

Karen Ruddy, a certified public accountant, has a reputation for being a fixer. She said she refuses to risk putting it in ruins on a software system that is such a mangled mess, she’d rather quit than try to fix it.  

"It's going to be a total nightmare, because it's not doing what it's designed to do,” said Jamie Curtis, former Genesee County board chairman.

The designer of the software, CGI, is a company leaving Genesee County at a distinct disadvantage without the just hired new controller who just quit.

"She found out that the system was very cumbersome. It was presented to Genesee County as a live, actual, on-time, real-time reporting system. And it wasn't,” Curtis said.

The software apparently can’t even handle the county’s most basic financial functions or give taxpayers the real time, updating dashboard on their website to see all the county spending at a glance.

"What it was supposed to do was supposed to make it dashboard reporting -  all departments, all accounts, so that the taxpayer at home could look at any department and see where the whole budget, from beginning to end,” Curtis said.

Curtis said he respects Ruddy’s decision to quit. He has advised the county to review the contract with CGI to see if there’s an out.

In a letter of resignation Ruddy stated concerns with software she used to do her job. She said the software that was being implemented by the county was a disaster and she never saw software that was so cumbersome to implement.

Genesee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Mike Young said the federal government uses software made by the same company. He believes Ruddy came to her decision prematurely.

"Any time you have a chance in software processes that you're using like that, a major software process, it does become scary and cumbersome. But that's part of what she was hired for," Young said.

CGI is one of the largest makers of financial management systems in the world. Genesee County's assistant controllers are moving forward with its implementation, which Young insists will make the county more transparent to the taxpayer.

"We'll be able to have a complete grasp on every penny that's being spent," Young said.

Click here to read the full resignation letter.

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