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Suspect Helped Design Computer System

POSTED: 11:47 AM ET, 06/10/2008 by The Editors

The scandal-plagued D.C. Tax Office has decided to replace its $135 million software system, budgeting $10 million to search for a replacement.

The office has been in the news recently since a manager there was charged in an embezzlement scheme involving $50 million, the largest in city history. The computer system from Accenture was not involved in the scheme because, when the system was created in 2004, it did not include the unit where fake property tax refund checks were produced.

Officials who created the system did not know that manager Harriette Walters -- now in jail awaiting trial -- was allegedly masterminding the theft at the same time she was advising them on the design of the system. The computer system needs to be replaced now because it is outdated, a manager said.

Another embezzlement scandal emerged last week involving alleged fake personal income tax refunds, created by a clerk in the tax office for her boyfriend. The office was criticized two weeks ago by City Auditor Deborah Nichols for paying Accenture $2 million in inappropriate travel fees and other improper costs.

Nichols' audit was prompted by a 2003 article by The Post's Dan Keating about problems in performance and contracting for the system.

By The Editors |  June 10, 2008; 11:47 AM ET
Previous: Program That Was Focus of Series Is Terminated | Next: Abramoff Sentencing Closer

Comments

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Government agency problems with computers are nothing new or uncommon. But why does it seem the DC government has more than its share of problems with computers and inordinately spends high amounts of money for systems that ultimately don't work?

Posted by: dirrtysw | June 10, 2008 4:55 PM

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