By Roy Reynolds
If there’s one thing government’s proven it stinks at it’s automation — more technically, processes like requirements gathering, cost justification, make vs. buy decisions, systems development, software coding and test, training, project management and network security which computerize manual processes which reduce labor and increase service levels. On February 11th, the OC Register wrote of yet another failure by the County’s Information Technology group in Relic of a tax system still in place in O.C. Register veteran Andrew Galvin explains:
A contract with an outside firm writing software code for PTMS [a new property-tax management system] has expired with the code untested and millions of dollars unpaid. Anticipating possible litigation, county counsel advised [County Information Technology chief Mahesh] Patel not to mention PTMS in his quarterly update to the supervisors. In his prior update, in October, Patel had said that negotiations were under way to extend the contract with software vendor Tata Consultancy Services [TCS. which] expired Jan. 9 without an agreement on extending it, and county officials are now considering their options, Patel said…the software code that TCS developed for PTMS is “substantially done,” but largely untested. The county owns TCS’ work product, Patel said. The PTMS project, which was already 18 months behind schedule and $4 million over budget, is on hold, Patel said.