Texas auditor: Many state IT projects wracked by cost, time overruns
- 06 August, 2012 19:09
More than two-thirds of 15 major IT projects completed by Texas government entities in recent years took longer than anticipated and went over budget, according to a report by State Auditor John Keel.
The report, which was released in late July, looked at 15 projects that started on or after Sept. 1, 2007. Sixty-seven percent experienced time overruns and 73 percent cost more than anticipated, according to the report.
A series of underlying factors was behind the problems, including failure of agencies to comply with state guidelines for IT project oversight; poor planning; expansion in the scope of projects after they were begun; and slow performance on the part of contracted consultants.
One project that created an Oracle E-Business Suite-based system for the Parks and Wildlife Department saw its budget jump from US$1.6 million to nearly $5 million, and it took 38 months to be completed instead of the planned 12 months, according to a chart included in the audit.
An "application remediation" project for the Department of Aging and Disability Services cost $7.7 million, up from an original budget of $5.5 million, but the timeline more than doubled, rising to 36 months from about 14 months.
While some individual projects ended up costing less money than first predicted, as a group they racked up roughly an additional $11.7 million in costs and took nearly 10 years longer than expected, according to the chart.
Those IT projects aren't the only troubled ones Texas officials have had.
Particularly serious delays and extra expenses have been suffered by ReHabWorks, a project that will create a case management system for the state Division for Blind Services and Division for Rehabilitation Services, according to another recent report by Keel's office.
That effort was originally budgeted at $2.4 million and had an initial completion date of August 2007.
But ReHabWorks' total cost is now expected to be $18.3 million, with a goal of full implementation by April 2013, according to Keel's office.
Officials had told lawmakers that ReHabWorks was finished as of August 2010, but that wasn't actually the case, the audit adds.
While the system was technically able to process a new case as of that time, it wasn't able to serve existing clients, nor did it contain the historical data records needed to send required reports, according to the audit.
In addition, officials significantly "underreported" how much the system would cost to a pair of oversight bodies, the Legislative Budget Board and the state Quality Assurance team, it states. For example, it didn't include $10.9 million "in indirect costs" associated with the hours IT personnel and other state workers spent on the project.
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.
Why change management doesn’t work
Larry Page wants to see your medical records
Dual-Persona Smartphones Not a BYOD Panacea
After two-year hiatus, EFF accepts bitcoin donations again
CIOs struggle to deliver timely mobile business apps: survey
Top 10 tips for Migration
As users bring multiple devices to the workplace, IT departments need to have a single view of all their mobile devices. Find out how to build a secure and reliable management platform for next generation mobile computing across multiple platforms. Click for more!
Russian Underground 101
This research paper intends to provide a brief summary of the cybercriminal underground and shed light on the basic types of hacker activity in Russia. It discusses fundamental concepts that Russian hackers follow and the information they share with their peers. It also examines prices charged for various types of services, along with how prevalent the given services are in advertisements. The primary features of each type of activity and examples of associated service offerings are discussed as well. Read this paper.
A Holistic Approach to your BYOD Challenge
More and more enterprises are seeing significant benefits from allowing employees to choose the device they use to get their jobs done, and are adopting bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives. While the BYOD trend increases flexibility and productivity, it introduces a host of new challenges for your IT administrators. Click for more!