Editor’s note: This story is part of an ongoing series that tracks the city’s expenditures appearing on upcoming Santa Monica City Council consent agendas. Consent agenda items are routinely passed by the City Council with little or no discussion from elected officials or the public. However, many of the items have been part of public discussion in the past.

CITY HALL — Contracts for outdated software constitutes almost 90 percent of the expenditures on the consent agenda for Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

The software systems, either updates or completely new packages, will cost $1,326,611 over the next six years.

The most expensive will be the replacement for the Big Blue Bus’ FleetFocus M4, a work order tracking and asset management system that is no longer supported by its vendor, Trapeze. BBB has been using the FleetFocus system since 1999.

City staff recommends a new Trapeze system, AssetWorks 6.4, for its seamless integration with existing BBB systems.

The new system would allow the BBB better communication on performance and cost accounting with City Hall and other agencies, like the Metropolitan Transit Authority, as well as make it easier to access detailed work order, parts and billing history information.

The full contract amount will not exceed $685,179 over the next six years, with over half of that — $357,389 — set to be spent immediately on implementation, data migration and training.

The new software constitute almost half of the $1,476,171 consent calendar.

Permit system

The BBB system isn’t the only outdated software City Hall has been struggling with.

The council is expected to give the OK for a new permit tracking system that will cost taxpayers over half a million dollars.

The new system, called Accela Automation, provides web-based features like mobile inspections, applets and integration with the city’s Geographic Information System, which allows staff to plot information on maps.

Accela Automation was developed in 2000, and is used by government agencies across the United States.

The previous system, Permits Plus, was also developed by the Accela company. City Hall has used it since 1989, but Accela no longer supports the product.

The new software system will cost $546,672 over the next five years, which includes training, data migration and the first year of maintenance.

Homeless system update

In yet another round of upgrades, the City Council is expected to approve $95,000 in system support, on-site training and upgrade costs for its Homeless Management Information System.

City Hall has used the ServicePoint system since 2009 after the Urban Institute conducted an evaluation of Santa Monica’s homeless Continuum of Care and recommended it buy a system that met the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development data standards.

Since then, the number of programs and individuals using ServicePoint has expanded to 155 users in 180 programs across eight homeless service providers. City Hall needs all of those providers putting their information in the same place to keep track of all the services being provided within city limits.

That includes who is accessing the services, where they come from and how Santa Monica is integrated into the larger regional system of care.

The cost is expected to be $94,760 for a total of $308,790.

Waste not, want not

City staff is recommending HDR Engineering, Inc. for a $149,560 contract to review City Hall’s current policies on refuse and prepare “zero waste guidelines,” an operations plan and trash hauling rate structure analysis.

The plan will help City Hall strengthen and refine its current waste diversion operations and help toward the stated goal of a 70 percent recycling rate.

The City Council first directed staff to create a Zero Waste Strategic Plan in June 2009, and assigned the Zero Waste Planning Committee the task of designing and putting into action a zero waste program.

That resulted in a pilot green food waste program, expansion of commercial food waste program, as well as audits of landfills to determine diversion rates.

It was determined, however, that a long-term zero waste strategic plan would be needed to include operational programs, producer responsibility, product stewardship, client responsibility and future council ordinances and resolutions.

And, since those new requirements could change the costs of waste disposal, such a plan would need to identify the impacts of all programs on future integrated waste processing and disposal rates.

HDR Engineering has completed such plans for 10 other communities and has extensive knowledge of equipment and operations costs nationwide, according to the staff report.

The company came in the highest of all bidders at $149,560, and was asked to scale back its community outreach component.


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