A consultant to the committee that oversees how LA Unified spends taxpayer bond dollars today recommended a complete overhaul of the district’s Information Technology operations, suggesting the district might consider outsourcing the entire department.
Tom Rubin delivered the report to the Bond Oversight Committee, blasting the IT department and asserting that the recent bungled rollout of MiSiS, the student data computer system, exposed a track record of mismanagement and organizational problems that are prevalent in other district programs.
“We have had a history of major IT problems,” Rubin told the committee. “This is not about specific projects; this is about the the totality of the system: It is broken.”
Despite efforts by hard-working employees, he said, “The failure unfortunately is at the top,” adding that, “too many key people have little knowledge, or interest, and do not wish to change their beliefs and ways of working.”
He suggested the district re-structure the organization of departments, functions and responsibilities to change underlying attitudes and practices “that are systemic to the way that things are done at LAUSD.”
“Be prepared to consider massive changes in the LAUSD way of doing things, up to and including changing ITD to a contracted enterprise,” he warned the committee.
The root of the problem is the district’s “silo-ization,” he said, describing a regimen in which “people in one part of the department have no idea what’s happening on the other side.”