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D.C. Water and Sewer Authority | System Selection Case Study

Background of Organization:

The District of Columbia is located midway along the eastern seaboard of the United States between the states of Maryland, on the north, and Virginia, on the south. It is 67 square miles in size , with the U.S. Capitol building at the center of the district. The population of the District is 572,000. The Washington, D.C. metropolitan area includes seven Maryland counties and five Virginia counties. The total population for the metropolitan area is 5.4 million.

From 1938 to 1996, the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Utility Administration was part of the DC Government. In 1996, the DC Government initiated the creation of the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority, a semi-autonomous regional entity. On April 18, 1996, following a 30-day Congressional review period, the DC Council enacted DC Law 11-111, "The Water and Sewer Authority Establishment and Department of Public Works Reorganization Act of 1996." Since then, the D.C. Water & Sewer Authority has continued as a multi-jurisdictional regional utility that provides drinking water, wastewater collection and treatment to more than 500,000 residential, commercial and governmental customers in the District of Columbia, and also collects and treats wastewater for 1.6 million customers in Montgomery and Prince George's counties in Maryland and Fairfax and Loudoun counties in Virginia. The Authority has approximately 1,200 employees and a service area of approximately 725 square miles. The Authority also delivers water to over 130,000 locations in Washington, DC, and provides nearly 135 million gallons of drinking water a day for use by individuals and businesses.

Description of the Situation:
The Authority was in the process of selecting a new financial management system. The Authority had already finished the RFP and was in the process of evaluating the proposals it had received in response. The Authority engaged the GFOA to assist with system selection and contract negotiations services.

GFOA's Solution:
By using GFOA's system selection methodology and relying upon the expertise of GFOA project staff, the Authority was able to select a system that provided the functionality that it needed at a price that it could afford. GFOA staff was able to use its public sector ERP experience to help the Authority strategically select the ERP software and implementation firm that offered the best overall package to the organization. In addition, GFOA's efforts resulted in significant savings in direct and indirect system procurement costs for the Authority.