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City government looks to replace aging software by year’s end

Payroll, benefits and other software platforms written in obsolete code will get rolled into a single new platform by year's end. Might it help stem the city's spending mishaps?

Philadelphia City Hall. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

A digital platform called One Philly will go live by the end of 2018, officials say, in a bid by the City of Philadelphia to sunset obsolete technology and consolidate a handful of processes into a single system.

Payroll, human resources, pensions, benefits and timekeeping systems for the city — all currently built on out-of-use programming languages — will move to the new system in December.

GovTech reports that the new platform, in the works since 2014, runs on Oracle’s E-Business Suite and will reduce the workload of city employees who must currently enter and process data through multiple applications.

“It’s replacing a number of legacy systems and technologies that are challenged,” One Philly Project Director Rick Stewart told the outlet.

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The new system’s announcement comes after reports of lackluster bookkeeping in City Hall. First, an error led to a $33-million question mark in the city’s bank accounts. Then, last month, Inquirer reporter Claudia Vargas broke the story of a city staffer who tripled her salary through overtime, a symbol of Philadelphia’s “eighth straight busted overtime budget” and of overtime being paid without evidence of time worked.

Per GovTech, this new system could provide an added layer of checks and balances, by letting city staffers see where funds like overtime pay are being spent through a single platform.

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