Case Study

Community Development Commission of the County of Los Angeles

Board at the LA Community Development Commission

In 1982, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors consolidated three entities in order to form the Community Development Commission (CDC); this included the Housing Authority, the Community Development Department, and the Redevelopment Agency.
The Board of Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles currently serves as the Commissioners of the CDC which includes serving as the Commissioners over the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (HACoLA) setting policy for the agency. Although they are two separate legal entities, they both fall under the umbrella of the CDC. The HACoLA also has a separate Housing Commission Board, which is composed of 11 advisory Commissioners. This includes five appointees by the Board of Commissioners as well as six tenant Commissioners, who live in the CDC’s public housing sites or are Section 8 participants.
Over 70% of the CDC’s funding comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The agency’s four main activity areas are subsidized housing, housing development and preservation, community development, and economic development. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2014-2015, the agency has a proposed budget of $475 million and 563 employees.
In November 2012, the CDC consolidated three administrative offices into one single building in Alhambra, California. Prior to the move, the CDC had offices in Monterey Park, Santa Fe Springs and East Los Angeles. The consolidation into one building has saved the CDC considerable time from traveling between locations as well as stabilized our rental prices for the next 30 years all while housing the agency in a Gold LEED certified building.
The CDC goal is to Build Better Lives and Better Neighborhoods. This mission is accomplished through the leadership of our Executive Management Team and the contributions of each employee. Together, we strive to provide excellent customer service to Los Angeles County residents.

The Need
The CDC was utilizing an outdated database program to enter the budget for over 3,000 projects with 250 account line items and almost 600 employees. This system had minimal interface with PeopleSoft Financials and no interface with the PeopleSoft Human Resources Management System (HRMS). LACDC’s budget is done on a very detailed level by project and by account. Each employee was tasked with up to ten project allocations resulting in significant time spent inputting information into the systems. By integrating the backend HRMS with Board, these inputs were automatically populated saving the CDC a significant amount of time and manual work.
The reason for choosing Board was the flexibility and dynamic nature of the program. In addition, the total cost of ownership was lower than competitors. Implementation costs plus the annual maintenance fees were very reasonable and the ability for report creation within Board was another primary factor in the decision.
“The other systems were uninspiring, for the most part out of the box and would have required approximately $450,000 or more in customization to meet our needs. Board has the flexibility to be built how the user wants it. Given that our agency is very dynamic and consistently changing, Board software was a perfect match for CDC,” said Karen Ramirez, Manager Executive Office of Budget.

The Project
Given that the Board of Supervisors adopts the budget in June and kicks off budget season in October, it was important to be able to complete the implementation and testing in a relatively short time frame. The project included developing a personnel module to feed off the HRMS system as well as a financial module to interface with the finance system.

The Implementation
Implementation was completed within five months. Neubrain’s (a certified Board Partner) two consultants and CDCs own were all involved in the design, implementation and testing of the system. Neubrain’s consultants worked diligently from June 2009 through October 2009. It was a short timeline as the CDC typically commences the budget process in October of each year; they were able to complete the design and implementation which resulted in a reduced timeframe for budget completion. Neubrain’s consultants developed the three modules for salary, operating and allocations - the building blocks of the implementation. The ability to interface with PeopleSoft Financials and HRMS were vital in the implementation. This interface was setup to run on a nightly basis.

Functional Aspects
One of the major benefits of Board was the daily interface from the PeopleSoft Financials and HRMS systems. The actuals were loaded into Board and with the superior reporting capabilities LACDC was able to create customized reporting for Management within minutes. In addition, the interface with HRMS allows all the data by employee to be loaded into the Board system by project with current salary, and in turn, the system automatically calculates merit and benefits. As a result, this has saved analysts several days of data entry.

Organizational Aspects
Initially the implementation only impacted all Budget Analysts. A few years later, LACDC would use Board to enter fleet mileage as well - impacting another 65 employees for a total of over 80 employees using the Board system.
“The benefits of the Board adoption have been astronomical,“ Ramirez says. “With Board’s tight Office integration, we can now download our customized reports within Excel making the analysis that much easier. We can enter our daily mileage in the system. We can access employees’ allocation and salary data within seconds. We can run a historical analysis of budget to actuals within seconds; we no longer have to rely on the lengthy processes via PeopleSoft nVision.”