Tech Outsourcing in Florida Succeeds and Fails

The Tallahassee Democrat reports more today on the state of Florida's on-going debacle regarding its MyFlorida Alliance, a multi-year project that outsourced state technology. The $259 million project is due to expire at the end of this year after being cancelled due to irregularities in the bidding process.

In the “Future of tech contracts unclear,” reporter Nancy Cook Lauer quotes current CIO Simone Marstiller as stating: “In the process, the State Technology Office lost many highly skilled, talented key middle managers and technical leads with specific knowledge of the equipment, systems and applications that are still used by the State Technology Office and its customers.”

Currently, Ms. Marstiller is noodling over the notion of bringing in 150 employees — 60 of whom once worked for the state — to continue the tech work, which focuses on making state agencies more efficient. At the same time, she's requested quotes from 16 different companies — including Accenture and BearingPoint, which have been fulfilling the terms of the contract — to sign a one-year interim contract to keep the work going.

One aspect of the original project — the state's help desk — has already come back in house from Accenture and several former state employees have been given their old jobs back.

The work that terminates on Friday includes a multi-million dollar contract to manage computer applications and another to run the state data center.

The challenge for Ms. Marstiller is this: Some of the original goals have actually been met, even in the face of contracting malfeasance, mismanagement of the change process and a spate of bad press. According to the article, the contractors have reduced inefficiencies updated equipment and increased the quality of service in some areas.