Midland Daily News — House committee OKs plan to improve state computer systems

Posted Feb 29, 2020

State Rep. Annette Glenn’s plan to help prevent information technology (IT) cost overruns and inefficiencies in state IT projects was approved unanimously this week by the House Appropriations Committee.

“My plan will ensure state departments are using best practices to manage information technology projects,” said Glenn, R-Midland, “These changes are being implemented by DTMB already due to recent IT project cost overruns. This legislation ensures DTMB continues to track and monitor projects in this way — not just now, but for years to come.”

The measure, part of a bipartisan plan, will increase transparency by requiring the Department of Technology, Management and Budget to provide information for each vendor contract or maintenance project exceeding $250,000.

Glenn is one of several lawmakers who was appointed last summer to the Information Technology Task Force. The purpose of the task force is to implement best practices for managing IT projects across all state departments, protect consumers, and improve accountability.

Glenn added there have been too many failed state IT projects, costing millions of dollars.

For example, a Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) system related to tracking child abuse and neglect cases has received $231 million in the past several years, and it was announced last year the department is now abandoning the project due to lack of reliability and poor user experience. Additionally, DHHS had IT overruns of $15 million for fiscal year 2018 and $45 million for fiscal year 2019.

“Not only are these projects costing significantly more than they should, but they’re also delivering poor service to customers,” Glenn said. “We must do better with the money entrusted to us by the hard-working taxpayers of this state, and that is exactly what this task force is proposing.”

HB 5494 now advances to the full House of Representatives for further consideration.

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