California Government IT Woes Continue to Mount

Over a Billion Dollars In Cost Overruns

1 min read
California Government IT Woes Continue to Mount

There was an article in the LA Times a week ago concerning the on-going problems with IT projects in the state of California. The article talks about several projects such as the Financial Information System for California (FI$CAL), which is $300 million over budget and three years behind schedule; a centralized computer system for California's courts which is $1.04 billion over budget (yes, billion), and is at least 4 years late;  and the California Child Support Automation System (CCSAS), which has cost $1.5 billion so far to implement, but performs abysmally.

In June, California's CIO launched an IT dashboard project like that of the Federal government to track its projects. The claim was that the dashboard would bring transparency (and hopefully some accountability) to the progress of the state's IT projects.

However, if you look at the project status of the FI$CAL on the dashboard, it shows "green."

But when you drill down a bit more, you find a more detailed status report that says that the most recent milestone was missed, and the reason was because of efforts to re-plan the project, to wit, "developing ... revised milestones and the project roadmap for moving forward."

I guess a "green" project status means something different in California than in the rest of the world.

No wonder the state is in trouble financially.

So far, California seems ahead of Texas and Virginia in the race to the bottom for the most ineffective and risk mismanaged US state government IT projects.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

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A plate of spaghetti made from code
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You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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