This opinion piece of mine was printed in the Times Argus on Saturday November 1st, 2014:
The State of Vermont spends millions of dollars per year on information technology (IT) projects, most of which work fine. A number of high-profile projects like the most recent health insurance exchange however, do not fully achieve their goals or fail outright.
These software systems are extremely complex, so I don’t mean to suggest there’s some magical solution that will save us from these failures. We have the opportunity to achieve some real cost savings on these projects, but there are several large obstacles in the way:
- There is no effective Legislative oversight of IT projects – the Legislature has delegated most of the responsibility to the Department of Innovation and Information.
- There are few if any elected officials in the Legislature with IT experience that could provide effective oversight.
- There is little accountability when a project fails. We all end up footing the bill and there’s a lot of circular finger pointing and blame that goes around. Let’s draw a line in the sand and have clear expectations of who should shoulder the responsibility.
I’m running for the Legislature in Berlin and Northfield for a number of reasons, but I believe that with my 15+ years of professional experience in computer networking, software, and security and a PhD in computer science, I can have an immediate effect on the costs of the computer systems that all of us pay for in Vermont. Thanks for being a voter on November 4th!