By David Bicknell
Local newspapers in the US are offering some insight into the cloudy future of two significant IT projects.
In Salem, Oregon, a planned $92 million upgrade of the state’s Department of Revenue computer system is reportedly on hold because the state can’t afford $13 million in start-up costs.
The Register-Guard website says local officials chose to put the project on hold rather than ask legislators to make a choice between paying for the computer system and paying for public safety and human services.
The computer system is said to be responsible for processing $7 billion a year and 94 percent of Oregon’s general fund revenue, but officials are apparently concerned about its future effectiveness.
The agency’s ability to collect taxes rests on a “myriad of disparate, aging software applications and databases,” according to a 96-page business analysis the Department of Revenue produced in 2010.
Meanwhile, in Beavercreek, Ohio, a US Air Force computer modernisation project which has already cost $1 billion, is said to be at risk of Washington defence cuts.
US Air Force officials have acknowledged that the Expeditionary Combat Support System project, on which at least $986.5 million has been spent, won’t be completed in 2016 as had been hoped. Work began in 2007, but the local Springfield News-Sun newspaper reports that the completion date has been repeatedly postponed because of delays.