TransparentBusiness: a simple solution that can save your state tens of millions of dollars per year, with zero cost and zero risk.
How much does your state overpay for “professional services” each year?
The amount might be greater than you think.
Some known overbilling cases amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars. For example, a company called SAIC recently overbilled the New York City five hundred million dollars on a single municipal project!
Such massive overbilling became possible because city and state auditors have had no tool to verify accuracy or inaccuracy of invoices based on billable hours. Essentially, the invoices for professional time are often paid based on the “honor system”. While many contractors are worthy of such trust, there are some that take advantage of the situation and “rob the state blind”.
“Flat fee” arrangements are rarely a suitable solution due to the change orders and other uncertainties inherent to many projects. Ironically, the above-mentioned New York case was a flat-fee project. It started on a 73-million-dollar budget and ended up with the city paying almost 700 million dollars before a whistle-blower revealed to the law enforcement agencies that most of the billed time had, in fact, never been worked.
Until recently, no real protection from inflated invoices existed, but now solutions like TransparentBusiness make every minute of computer-based work automatically verifiable. You can save your state tens of millions of dollars by simply requiring large contractors to provide transparent verification of billable hours.
Such a measure is already being considered by state assemblies in a number of states and the trend is irreversible. Whenever a contractor supplies tangible items, the states expect proper accounting and detailed verification of billable activity; professional services have been the only loophole for unverified billing; a loophole huge enough to defraud state governments millions of dollars by simply inflating the number of billable hours.
The savings would come to the state at no cost to taxpayers, as contractors will bear the modest cost of complying, just like they have always absorbed other accounting costs.
The savings would come to the state at no risk, as the solution is available from ADP, the largest payroll processing company and a component of NASDAQ and S&P.
Needless to say, the proposed transparency requirement would not be vendor-specific, so the state contractors will be able to select any other appropriate tool to comply with the state’s requirement for transparent verification of billable hours.
Our TransparentBusiness platform, designated by Citigroup as the “Top People Management Solution”, is just one transparency solution available to your contractors. TransparentBusiness is an official partner of Google, Microsoft, SAP, Cisco, EY, Facebook and ADP and it makes every billed minute accountable.
Once contractors provide state auditors with access to their TransparentBusiness account, the auditors will be able to see whom the contractor assigned to work on the state projects and how much time each expert worked on the project on any day.
Clicking on any number, brings up the detailed summary of the that day’s activity, illustrated by screenshots taken every three minutes. It takes about 30 seconds to review the entire day of work.
Pointing on any thumbnail image opens it in a larger view, along with the information on the task and the activity level, measured in keyboard and mouse events. Clicking on the image, opens it in a full-screen mode allowing the auditor or the project manager to oversee the work in a slide-show mode, providing instructions to the worker as needed.
Use of suspicious applications, such as computer games, are flagged, so auditors and project managers can immediately spot such activity and reject the related time.
Importantly, the state will know the exact status and cost of every project and task, at any moment.
Real-time TransparentBusiness charts will show which tasks are completed on time and within budget (they are shown in green) and which ones went over budget (shown in red) or past the deadline (yellow).
TransparentBusiness gives state managers real-time information about the work performed for the state by programmers, designers, architects, engineers, and other professionals, but does not intrude on their privacy. The tool is controlled by the worker, who can start and pause it whenever they wish, so that only billable activity is documented.