Can Oregon implement any IT project successfully?


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The Portland Tribune recently reported "Three years after state auditors identified security weaknesses at Oregon’s main data center in Salem, the state has yet to fix some of the problems."

The legislature was told in 2005 that consolidating 12 state agency computer systems would pay for itself and make citizen data more secure. It sounded too good to be true and sure enough, it was. The bureaucrats lied to the legislature as the state data center has not only cost much more than predicted, but now we learn that citizens data is being hacked and is even less secure than before the expensive consolidation.

So, it’s reasonable to ask: are Oregon bureaucrats capable of implementing any IT system that performs as predicted and on budget? This debacle joins a long list of failed computer projects like the DMV, PERS, state radio network and the mother of all failures, Cover Oregon. There is a common theme here: Legislators act like Charlie Brown and Lucy with the football, time after time falling for the lies of bureaucrats about how they’ll do the project right the next time if we give them one more chance! Of course, the crony business lobby is right in there backing up the bureaucrats false promises, convincing legislators of both parties that future performance has nothing to do with past failures.

Will they ever learn?


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