GOVERNOR RAUNER HACKS HEALTH CARE SAFETY NET TO PAY OUTSIDE CONSULTANTS
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has proven he is willing to close Illinois’ social service agencies and put pinstripe patronage, consultants and computer contracts ahead of the poor, sick and people with disabilities:
· The Governor has budgeted $1.3 billion in appropriations and capital funds for his Department of Innovation and Technology (DOIT), more than is budgeted for the Department of Public Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Agriculture combined. With 1,482 employees, DOIT has a bigger staff than Eastern Illinois University.
· The Governor took $112 million from the Health Care Provider Relief Fund, which uses federal Medicaid reimbursements for – as its name suggests – Illinois’ beleaguered health care providers. At his direction, that money went to consultants and contracts for computer software, instead of doctors and hospitals, who are waiting six months to a year to get paid.
· To fund his struggling $250 million Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) initiative, his handpicked Comptroller transferred $71 million from the state’s General Revenue Fund in the final days in office to funds used in part to pay for ERP.
· Citing a lack of accountability and transparency, the Comptroller has frozen $27 million in funding for the ERP pending a program review. His administration refuses to answer questions about the ERP, release program timelines or provide an accounting of work performed by the consultants for the millions of dollars they have received. The administration has not provided answers to basic program questions sent by the Office of the Comptroller in a March 10 letter.
The Comptroller’s Office supports modernizing the state’s technology and keeping Illinois’ computers secure, but not at the expense of oversight. Especially at this time of financial crisis, when social services are being decimated, the Governor does not get a blank check to spend whatever he wants on pinstripe patronage without accountability. Accountability is crucial given the glitches and cost overruns reported with ERP programs around the country (see below.)
The $27 million in ERP program funding that was placed on cash management represents just two percent of DOIT’s FY2018 proposed budget – it should not inhibit DOIT’s ability to purse its core mission.
The biggest threat to Illinois is the lack of a balanced budget – not cybersecurity and not the system of checks and balances that require accountability among the branches of government – and The Governor is the only one who can solve that problem. If The Governor believes these ERP expenditures are so critical, he can immediately submit and pass a budget that fully funds them.
Additional background information:
ERP projects experience cost overruns, glitches elsewhere
$46 million Deloitte program has defects, needs fix
Rhode Island officials resign over botched Deloitte program rollout
State of California sues SAP over troubled technology program, $59 million payout
Marin County settles ERP lawsuit under gag order