We’re pounding our virtual gavel and ordering a briefcase of brickbats for the Administrative Office of the Courts — the state agency responsible for turning a $260 million computer project into what could turn out to be a nearly $2 billion boondoggle.
But hey, at least San Luis Obispo is one of only three counties in California that will get to pilot this bloated-beyond-belief court computer system — a project so out of control, some court officials around the state advocate scrapping it.
The idea behind the project — called the California Court Case Management System — is a sound one: Create one unified computer system to link courts in all 58 counties. Yet according to a state audit released this week, not only is the project way over budget, it’s also seven years behind schedule.
Some other interesting tidbits:
The cost of the contract with Deloitte Consulting — the firm chosen to help develop the computer system — grew from $33 million to $310 million.
The Administrative Office of the Courts delivered required reports to the Legislature but failed to provide updated cost estimates for the total project. In 2008, for example, the agency reported expenditures of $466 million to the Legislature, when its own internal cost estimate was $1.6 billion.
The warranty on one part of the system ran out before the system was even in use.
Such gross mismanagement and waste of public money — particularly at a time state officials are crying over lack of revenue — is nothing short of obscene.
The auditor is recommending several steps to ensure greater transparency and oversight of the project. That’s a start, but while we’re at it, can’t we find those responsible for this outrageous conduct to be in contempt of Californians?
Positive step on access to Pismo gem
State Parks earns an it’s-about-time bouquet for exploring the idea of allowing limited public access to the Pismo Lake Ecological Reserve.
This 70-acre riparian treasure — tucked behind a shopping mall and housing tracts — has been under state control since 1976, when the state Department of Fish and Game acquired it. It was transferred to State Parks in 2007.
There are issues to iron out — for example, some neighbors have concerns about allowing public access to the property, and who knows when the state will have enough money to take on a new project — but this could someday be a valuable addition to our inventory of hiking trails. We strongly encourage State Parks to keep it in mind.
AG High — launching pad to stardom
What is it with Arroyo Grande High?
First it was Zac Efron — he of “High School Musical” fame — and now another AGHS alum, Harry Shum Jr., is making a name for himself as a song-and-dance man.
Harry — who was profiled in Sunday’s Tribune — got his start on the Arroyo Grande High Dance Team after auditioning for it on a dare. He went on to appear in several dance films, including “You Got Served” and “Stomp the Yard.” Now he’s a regular on the mega-hit TV series “Glee.”
Zac started performing even earlier — he was in a PCPA production of “Gypsy” when he was 11. A couple of years later, his eighth-grade drama teacher encouraged him to try out for TV and movie roles.
Clearly, Lucia Mar schools know how to nurture young talent. We offer standing ovations and take-a-bow bouquets to these young stars’ alma maters. We can’t wait to see who’s waiting in your wings.