House OKs Carson bill seeking study of state IT systems
STATE HOUSE – The House of Representatives has passed legislation sponsored by Rep. Lauren H. Carson asking the state to study and make recommendations for evaluating and improving its information technology management practices in light of the troubled Unified Health Infrastructure Project (UHIP).
The resolution (2017-H 6295) asks the Department of Administration to study and make recommendations for maximizing the state’s information technology (IT) resources, and for evaluating and improving IT structure and management practices, including procedures and oversight for contracts. Under the bill, the study should include and inventory of the executive branch’s major software systems, with information such as their age and when they will need to be replaced. The bill asks for a report to the General Assembly by Jan. 31, 2018.
The Unified Health Infrastructure project (UHIP), also called RIBridges, is a computer system that replaces and unifies numerous aged computer systems across the state’s human services agencies, with the goals of modernization, information sharing and efficiency. The project, for which the state has paid $402 million, has been riddled with problems since its botched rollout in September, causing late payments of benefits to Rhode Islanders and service providers and failing to deliver promised savings, at least in the short term. It has resulted in a lawsuit against the state, the resignation of several state officials, a $805,000 federal fine, a federal investigation into false payments or claims connected to it and a $27 million credit from DeLoitte Consulting, which provided the faulty system. The project changed scope 41 times in five years, with the state relying on consultants to help manage oversight.
“The mess surrounding UHIP makes me question whether the Department of Administration doesn’t have the system or the right people in place to properly manage an IT project of this magnitude. It’s costing us, and we need to learn from the mistakes, get a better handle on what we have and what we need from our IT systems, and create stronger oversight to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” said Representative Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport).
The resolution passed the House yesterday, and does not need Senate approval.
For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903