August 15, 2011
By Abigail Mitchell
On July 14th, members of local 375 and their supporters stormed the Science Applications International Corp. building on Broadway, calling for accountability from the Fortune 500 Company.
For the past few weeks, new information has been resurfacing about the financial dealings behind CityTime, a web-based time and attendance system used at many city agencies in New York.
SAIC allegedly used CityTime to take over $600 million dollars in “an unprecedented fraud” along with major kickbacks for SAIC executives, according to reports by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
“When the city rolled out this program [CityTime], they said they were going to save 50 million dollars a year. Now it has cost 780 million dollars,” said Local 375 secretary Jon Forster, citing the additional cost of over 170 million to create the system. “It’s absurd.”
Rally Participants met outside Madison Square Garden, where they chanted, “Money for jobs, not for fraud” and held signs that read, “City Time is a City Crime.”
As they marched to the SAIC building, union members distributed flyers to passersby—Forster joked, “Keep passing out those flyers so that the taxpayers know how they’ve been ripped off.”
Besides union members, several local officials attended the rally and were equally severe in their censure of SAIC and Mayor Bloomberg.
“A policy of privatizing municipal service has gone awry and it has ripped the city,” said NYC councilwoman Leticia James. “It was I who wrote DOI 4 years ago to investigate. It was my letter, our hearings, Local 375 DC 37. They uncovered the massive fraud which will be [Bloomberg’s] legacy.”
Though Bloomberg has asked SAIC to return the money and indictments were filed against top executives in late June, according to New York State Judicial records, SAIC itself has not been charged in the criminal case. In fact, SAIC announced a new contract from the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency on the very day of Local 375’s protest.