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Public Housing Spotlight

Issue 79
Published on April 1, 2001

For a printable (PDF) version of any Spotlight articles, please specify the issue and email us at nychaspotlight@netscape.net

(Click Here for NYCHA "preliminary" Audit
by NYC Comptroller Alan Hevesi)

(Click Here for Directory of Issues)

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That's the way ATIS!

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Editorial Comment:

In this issue, and in ATIS issues to follow, we will take a look at the history of NYCHA's bedeviled attempt to get an Automated Timekeeping Information System (ATIS) project into NYCHA-wide operation.

While you read through the documents available on our website, please keep in mind that timekeeping systems are chugging along quite nicely in the rest of this City, State, Nation and world. NYCHA is not inventing a cure for cancer here, they're trying to get a punch-clock interfaced with a database. Most small factories hire a computer guy for a few hours to accomplish this non-Herculean task. But NYCHA has nothing to show for over 6 years and millions of dollars in their attempt. (Okay, the Fink did get his daughter a job. But even in this city, millions of wasted dollars usually benefit someone much more that just getting a single relative hired!)

While a true investigation into NYCHA will uncover numerous mismanagement horrors and an equal dose of corruption that has caused the taxpayer losses that will go uncounted, there were two major items that appear to dominate above all other NYCHA's problems.

The now-infamous $100,000,000 lease on NYCHA Board Member Kalman (the Fink) Finkel's friend's $8,000,000 warehouse, and the never-ending contract for an Automated Timekeeping Information System (ATIS) that was let to Interboro Systems. Of course, this is the same Interboro Systems that did their patriotic duty and hired Finkel's daughter (and brother?), while it was defaulting on its contract AND billing NYCHA for huge Change Orders. The hiring of Fink's daughter caused Fink to be fined over $2,000 by the Conflicts of Interest Board and, according to a story by Newsday's Dan Janison, has led to Rudy Giuliani telling the Fink that it is time to move on.

It's time to take a look at four ATIS documents that were dropped onto Spotty's desk recently.

(We hope to receive scans of other ATIS related documents, and we'll publish special Spotty "ATIS" issues as soon as possible.)

This ATIS-Interboro Systems farce has been going on for longer than most believe. Back in 1993, The Chief Information Officer for NYCHA was Mr. Joseph Gonzalez. On December 16, 1993, Mr. Gonzalez sent a memo to NYCHA Execs explaining that a December 9, 1993 RFP (Request For Proposal) was published asking for a new Timekeeping system for NYCHA. In the RFP, it gave companies until January 7, 1994 to submit their proposals. (Click Here)

That's SEVEN (7) years ago,
and still no ATIS Timekeeping System.

Our next memo is from November 22, 1994. Madelyn Oliva, Director of Personnel, is sending John Carosella (Project Leader - ATIS) the "final draft" of a document that defines the technical elements required to tie the new ATIS system to NYCHA's current Payroll System. As with almost all memos about ATIS that Spotty received, there is always an air of immediacy and import to everything surrounding ATIS no matter that the completion date had long passed.

Here, Ms. Oliva needs any comments and changes in by December 2, 1994 so she can get the document over to Interboro Systems. (Click Here)

In the third memo we hear from Ms. Oliva again. She is "pleased to inform" everyone that the Authority (NYCHA) is in the process of implementing the ATIS system. She goes on to confidently say that the implementation will take "approximately six months to complete" and lists the order of initial implementation. 6 Months? It is now over 6 YEARS later, and ATIS is not yet in operation! (Click Here)

In our final memo (in this Issue, at least) Karin Feldhamer publishes the Minutes of an ATIS Meeting, June 12, 1995. For those of you who worked in NYCHA's Central Offices at the time, you probably remember what an uncontrolled mess occurred when NYCHA had everyone begin reporting for the ID photos that were going to be part of the ATIS scheme.

Well, in Ms. Feldhamer's minutes, we hear that John Carosella complained "unavailability of second photo ID machine is slowing the operation." (Click Here)

(We'll bet that Carosella NEVER envisioned just how much time he really had before Interboro System's ATIS system would really need new photo ID's!)

Well, rushing didn't help. ATIS is still just some smoke and mirrors conjured by the Finkel of Oz. The Fink manipulates knobs and pulleys behind a curtain, and the taxpayer takes a bath! For this, Finkle was appointed to a second term a few years ago. Joanna Aniello seems to already at the scene of numerous NYCHA disasters, and she goes up NYCHA's Org Chart as if she had rockets attached to her shoes.

We'll be taking a fresh and
very informed view of that
catastrophically failed
"fire-retarding" paint,
along with how the farce ended
and who profited
in an upcoming issue.

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Contact Jack Ballinger at nychaspotlight@netscape.net
for a Real Audio sound clip containing a
conversation wherein DOI Investigator
John Kilpatrick discusses how he learned
that 2 NYCHA execs attended
a Mafia connected contractor's funeral .

Contact Jack Ballinger at nychaspotlight@netscape.net
for a Real Audio sound clip containing
the (3 Meg) confession of Tony DiAlto.
Tony was a member of a group of
corrupt Contract Inspectors working at NYCHA.
Neither Tony nor the person he confessed to
sharing his bribes with (Richard Penesi)
were ever charged, let alone prosecuted, by DOI.

For a great source of general tenant information,
visit the Tenant Net Home Page |

And for a great source of New York City news and
policy information, visit our friends at the Gotham Gazette

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