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The State of Texas and IBM: Not getting any better

No group hugs are expected any time soon.

Agencies that help Texans renew their automobile registrations, draw unemployment benefits and apply for food stamps and Medicaid face crushing demands – and IBM, the technology contractor for those agencies, isn’t even providing mundane services, a top state technology official testified today.

“We’ve experienced significant service delivery problems” that force state employees to wait many days for routine help with computer matters, said Ed Swedberg, a deputy executive director at the Department of Information Resources.

Speaking of a troubled, $863 million state contract with IBM, Swedberg described to a House budget panel “a major backlog of work requests” that, he said, have gone unheeded by the contractor.

“These are day-to-day requests, such as adding memory to a server, restoring a file or re-setting a password,” he said. “This is of course frustrating … and more importantly affects the agencies’ ability to serve citizens and other constituents.”

An IBM spokesman responded that the state is to blame for any problems.

“We are looking at each of [the department’s] numerous shortcomings since the very beginning of the contract,” said IBM spokesman Jeff Tieszen, who dismissed Swedberg’s testimony as simply more “misguided accusations” from the state.

See here for the previous entry. Did I mention that this has “lawsuit” written all over it?

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