Months after a computer crash wiped out years of financial data, La Habra city officials are still scrambling to piece together financial info that they’re more than a year late in providing to the state.
The city lost five years of financial records when its 15 year-old Sunguard Bi-Tech system crashed in March, said Jim Sadro, the city’s finance director.
“We’ve been in recovery mode ever since. It’s been a major headache for us,” Sadro said, referring to the process of retrieving data from backup files.
“We’ve been getting most of it put back together. It’s just a time-consuming process,” said Sadro.
La Habra is one of nine cities statewide that haven’t yet filed the report for fiscal year 2012, which was due last October. It’s the only such city in Orange County.
State Controller John Chiang is now threatening to audit La Habra’s finances at city expense if the data isn’t filed by Dec. 31.
“My office’s audits of Bell, Stockton and other fiscally-distressed public agencies have highlighted how weak accounting and reporting practices deny local leaders the opportunity to fix problems before they deteriorate into crisis and scandal,” Chiang declared in a statement about the delinquent agencies.
La Habra officials say they notified the state of the crash in April and insist they have nothing to hide.
“It’s not an unwillingness on our part. It’s an inability” to provide the data, said Sadro, adding that he’s hoping to provide the data by the December deadline.
The data includes figures on revenues, expenses and long-term debt.
As for replacing the crashed system, Sadro said officials are debating whether to put out a competitive bidding process or simply upgrade to Sungard’s new system.