Death, taxes and state incompetence with computer projects

Death, taxes and state incompetence with computer projects

government-incompetence-at-workThere are fewer sure things in life than the likelihood the California state government will screw up a computer project. We may be home to Silicon Valley and the greatest concentration of information-technology skills in the world, but once a project unfolds in Sacramento, it almost always goes wrong.

Here’s a short list of state agencies that have been home to computer nightmares: Covered California, CalPERS, the DMV, and the departments in charge of unemployment benefits, prisons, courts and social services.

So it was no surprise to see this headline pop up Wednesday on the Los Angeles Times’ website: “State is warned about new fiscal computer system’s costs and timeline.” The details:

“A computer project to modernize the way the state of California manages its finances will take 12 months longer to complete and cost $55.8 million more than originally budgeted, the state auditor warned Wednesday.

“The Financial Information System for California project is aimed at coordinating and improving state government activity on budgeting, accounting, procurement and cash management.

“A decision to change the way the project is implemented to reduce risk and increase the probability of its success has increased its price tag from $616.8 million to $672.6 million and added a year to its schedule, State Auditor Elaine Howle said in a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown and leaders of the Legislature.”

Ho-hum. California bureaucrats in action. Same as it ever was.


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  1. Steve Mehlman
    Steve Mehlman 27 February, 2014, 11:29

    Gee, Chris, you just happened to leave out this sentence from the LA Times report: “Howle said the project, which involves the firm Accenture as system integrator, will be implemented in five waves, starting in July.”

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  2. Steve Mehlman
    Steve Mehlman 27 February, 2014, 11:31

    So the reality is that it is ACCENTURE, an outside private contractor, that is screwing this project up. But the ‘Dog, which wants to outsource everything, will never acknowledge that private companies can cost more and screw up.

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    • Rex the Wonder Dog!
      Rex the Wonder Dog! 27 February, 2014, 14:49

      ACCENTURE is just a politically connected company, they have no brain power of anything else that is innovative. They get gov contracts, of just about any type which they have no experience or training in, because they pay off the right people.

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  3. Bob Smith
    Bob Smith 27 February, 2014, 11:35

    Spending an extra year and 50+ million dollars is a risk reduction measure? Only in government would that not be laughable.

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  4. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 27 February, 2014, 14:51

    I think the State Court computer system was the biggest bust at $500 MILLION, all lost. The federal system has the perfect electronic system, all they had to do was copy or license it. But I guess that was too easy.

    Reply this comment
  5. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 27 February, 2014, 17:10

    Listen…listen good….people got to eat…..spreading money around is a good thing…..just because your an incompetent doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get a trophy!,,,

    Reply this comment

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