Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) – USA

Following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed and troubled projects from around the world.


Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) – USA
Project type : New payroll system
Date : Jan 2007 Cost :$95 USD

Synopsis :
New payroll system goes seriously wrong.  Some teachers are paid $10,000 for one month’s work while others receive just 20¢ for the same job.  Some school board employees are forced to take bank loans to cover their daily expenses while LAUSD takes up to a full year to correct the problems.  Problems lead to $53M in over payments to state employees and an additional $37M is spent to get the system working correctly and cover costs due to the problems caused.  The originally planned final phase (phase 3) is never completed resulting in further lost opportunity costs.

In December 2008, the school district secures an $18M settlement from the contractor who installed the system.

Contributing factors as reported in the press:
Poor management.  Difficulty cleansing legacy data.  Breakdowns in training.  Team competency issues.

Reference links :

  1. No accounting for L.A. Unified’s payroll fiasco
  2. Payroll system beset from Day 1
  3. LA Unified settles dispute over payroll system (added 16 Dec 2008)