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Consolidation of information technology services within the state
The governor touted consolidation as a way to improve efficiency and save money.
It hasn't worked out that way for the
"Instead of reducing costs, the consolidation has actually increased related IT (information technology) expenses by 14 percent from Fiscal Year 2011 to Fiscal Year 2013," auditors reported.
Information technology expenses cost the
OMES workers also breached security by granting employees unapproved access to files, auditors said.
"Inappropriate employee access could undermine the agency's internal controls and data security, allowing unauthorized staff to read or edit file content such as licensing information, payment details and
Failed to meet targets
Auditors said the
Many other state agencies have registered similar complaints following consolidation and a number of those concerns were reflected in a recent
Auditors noted 25 state agencies, including the
To those state agencies, auditors issued a caution: "Prospective candidates would be well served to carefully consider this audit, as OBN's experience does not appear to be an isolated case."
"It's disappointing that such a basic, standard auditing practice wasn't extended, but we're reviewing the findings nonetheless and we take them seriously," Estus said.
Estus said consolidation of information technology services for the
"For this reason, we let the board decide whether to undergo consolidation and it opted to do so knowing the cost would be higher than previous spending," he said.
Estus said OMES officials need more time to review the rest of the audit's findings before discussing them.
"Any large organization will attest that initiatives of this size and complexity bring challenges. The effort as a whole is meeting its goal of reducing statewide IT costs while improving services and security."The statewide IT consolidation is one of the most complex, difficult initiatives currently underway in state government," he said. "
'Bumps in the road'
"There are unfortunate bumps in the road in any effort this size, and for that we apologize and pledge to keep working to improve," Estus said. "At OMES leadership's request, significant efforts were initiated this summer to improve the quality of IT services provided to our partner agencies. We know improvements need to be made and have refocused our efforts on quality of service above quantity of service to reflect that goal."
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