Whistleblower: Contract nixed after highlighting spending flaws

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) --It’s an $18 million dollar project and it’s funded by Richmond city tax dollars.

Now a former consultant who wishes to remain anonymous said the project and its funding has been grossly mismanaged.

The city of Richmond has been working to implement finance management software across city departments--an $18 million dollar project funded by tax dollars.

"It's just a waste of resources all over. It's totally out of control," said the consultant.

The project managed by the city's Information Technology department was actually intended to save the city money. Its goal is to implement a new software across city departments to help them better manage their finances including areas like payroll and retirement.

The consultant says after a year and a half only about 10% of the project is complete. The city confirms that so far the project has spent 7.2 million dollars of their project budget.

"With the way this project is managed this will never come through it will never happen," he said. 

In a letter to city leaders and the city auditor, the consultant reported that he discovered a three million dollar discrepancy in the project budget. He also highlighted the project's continued use of unqualified staff.

He threw up another red flag over a miscalculation of overtime pay for city police and fire fighters.

The consultant claimed that when made his suggestions to fix such things he was ignored. He claimed he urged the managers of the project to provide back pay to the underpaid employees.

“They said that if the people didn’t complain about it, the fireman and the policeman, that if they didn’t complain about it and didn’t discover it than they’re not going to address it,” the consultant said.

The consultant claims that in his more than 20 years of doing similar work he’s never witnessed such excessive waste.

"Nobody is looking to do the right thing," he said. 

His claims however have prompted some city leaders to start looking for answers.

"We need to understand what the truth is and then we need to go forward and fix it," said Councilman Bruce Tyler. 

At least three city council members are now calling for an audit of the project saying that claims about wasting millions of taxpayer dollars can't be taken lightly.

"There's some very serious allegations here and when you see these you have to step back and say we need to investigate this," said Tyler.