Gov. John Hickenlooper sure likes to dream big, but when it comes to the follow-through, he shows he is a man who lacks the necessary leadership skills. PeakNation™, you may remember his “brilliant” idea to stamp out homelessness in Denver in ten years by utilizing parking meters. Needless to say, one year short of ten years and it’s done almost nothing as there are more homeless now than when it started. But, that Hick failure is minor compared to this next one. As Eli Stokols at KDVR reports, a $58 million overhaul of the state’s computer system (which tracks more than $20 billion of state tax money) is about to be the second coming of the Obamacare rollout:
“A disaster in the making.” That’s just one way Secretary of State Scott Gessler describes Colorado’s new $58 million computerized accounting system…
…State agencies have been told to start using it Tuesday, July 1.
However, internal documents obtained by FOX31 Denver show the system isn’t even close to ready and won’t work as planned.
If you receive any state benefits, pay fees or taxes, or are a vendor who does business with Colorado, this does affect you. [the Peak’s emphasis]
What’s worse is Hickenlooper and his administration have known this disaster was approaching, and instead of working in a collaborative manner with all those willing to help, they tried to hide the impending disaster:
Gessler said. “It’s not fully tested. We warned the governor, saying there are some real problems.”
Gessler sent a letter to Gov. John Hickenlooper on May 6 asking that he delay launching CORE until the major glitches are repaired.
We reviewed a copy of the letter which calls the computer project “a disaster in the making” and warned “this current path to failure is a train wreck about to happen.”
Gessler… said the response to the letter was underwhelming.
“Don’t bother us,” Gessler said. “No data (provided). No facts that give us any comfort. In fact, some of the reports they concealed, they hid, they kept from us so we wouldn’t see those reports because ultimately they didn’t look very good.”
We spoke with a number of IT managers, private contractors and government employees familiar with the CORE project. As a group, they agreed with Gessler, saying it would be best to delay the launch. [the Peak’s emphasis]
This report by Stokols is absolutely devastating for Hickenlooper and his administration. Allegations of massive cost overruns, as well as cushy contracts given out to well-connected people has one whistle-blower believing an audit would find tens of millions of dollars had been misappropriated. PeakNation™, be sure to read the story in full.
While this certainly adds to a month Hickenlooper would rather forget, here at the Peak we’re more concerned with the $90 million DMV computer system overhaul vanity project Hickenlooper pushed hard for this past year. As we can see by Hickenlooper’s previous big projects, his lack of leadership skills coupled with his administration’s abhorrence of transparency, come together to create a toxic mix of big government spending and incompetency that are hurting Coloradans all over the state. Unfortunately, as we’ve learned recently, we won’t even be able to get a straight answer from Hickenlooper on this.