The state Department of Technology, Management and Budget has spent $50 million so far on a new computer system for the Secretary of State’s office that still isn’t finished after more than a decade, according to a report released Thursday. The Business Application Modernization project was launched by Gov. Jennifer Granholm and meant to modernize how the state delivers services like vehicle titles, drivers’ licenses and voter registration. Just one part — ExpressSOS for online renewal of driver’s licenses and vehicle registration — has been delivered, and even that lacks some promised features. Officials from Technology, Management, and Budget and the Secretary of State’s office said they agree with the assessment by Michigan Auditor General Thomas McTavish and have taken steps to fix problems identified in the report. “The BAM project is not an example of how major IT projects should work,” said Kurt Weiss, spokesman for Technology, Management and Budget. “The issues raised in the audit have been addressed.” The auditor identified 12 problems starting when Electronic Data Systems first won the contract in 2004 though an unfair bidding process. Hewlett-Packard Co. took over when HP bought EDS in 2008, but the project continued to be plagued by mismanagement, delays and cost overruns.
According to the report, the contract failed to adequately protect the state’s interests. The state did not enforce the terms of the contract, and continued to pay the bill whether deadlines were met or not. Weiss said the state is negotiating with HP seeking damages and won’t have a completion date for the project until after talks are completed.
So far, Michigan has paid $34.3 million to the contractor, and another $15 million for the time of state employees working on the project. As a result of the mismanagement, the Secretary of State’s Office is operating with an antiquated system, according to Gisgie Gendreau, spokeswoman for Secretary of State Ruth Johnson.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120719/POLITICS02/207190480#ixzz21AMS6n29