- Associated Press - Friday, July 25, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Investigators say poor oversight allowed a New York City payroll-technology project to spiral into a $700 million tangle of contractor fraud, budget overruns and delays.

A Department of Investigation report released Friday says the city lacked proper management safeguards to detect and prevent the problems with the CityTime project.

Its costs ballooned from about $70 million to $700 million. Authorities later concluded a key contractor hired and overpaid consultants through companies his associates owned.

Eight people have been convicted or pleaded guilty. The prime company on the project repaid the city more than $500 million.

The Department of Investigation recommends assigning an “integrity monitor” and requiring conflict-of-interest background checks of consultants on major technology projects.

The mayor’s office says it’s reviewing the recommendations.

The problems predate the current city administration.