Six weeks after the glitch-ridden launch of Colorado’s new computer system that manages $20 billion of taxpayer revenue, things are still not going well.
At the beginning of July, we highlighted a Fox 31 investigation and a Complete Colorado report that found the system overhaul – directed by Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Office of Information and Technology – was a “disaster in the making.” Since then, departments and agencies across the board have experienced payment-processing problems as a result of this new system.
7News recently featured a story about how Hickenlooper’s computer system is also affecting the Unclaimed Property Office, which is responsible for returning lost or forgotten property (mostly cash) to the people of Colorado. Like many others in the state, this agency is experiencing a major backlog. According to the 7News report, Unclaimed Property is just the tip of the iceberg – state disbursements for contractors and rent have also been delayed.
It is worth noting that Unclaimed Property, which falls under the purview of Treasurer Walker Stapleton, is working to correct the backlog. That’s more than can be said for other areas of state government where Hickenlooper, by contrast, has been noticeably silent on the issue.
The way we see it is that Hickenlooper either knew this system was not ready for prime time and didn’t care, or he wasn’t paying enough attention to the tenuous transition. Either way, this episode has demonstrated that Hick does not have the fundamental leadership skills required to run the state. If his administration can’t handle basic responsibilities like paying bills and making sure the trains run on time, then he should find another job.