The Washington Policy Center posted last week about State Auditor Brian Sonntag’s report to Governor Gregoire recommending financial management reforms. It’s a dry report filled with acronyms that’re geeky to both computer scientists AND to accountants. (This hides the fact that they’re talking about hundreds of millions in software development expense.) Jason Mercier, the director of the Policy Center’s “Center for Government Reform” agrees with the auditor. You can read his post here. The post links to the auditor’s report.
I don’t always agree with Jason Mercier about how government ought to be run. Actually, it would be more fair to say that I RARELY agree with him.
In this case he’s right. The legislature has not approved funding for the software systems the state auditor proposes replacing because the administration did not have the technical infrastructure in place to make it happen and we thought the money could be better spent somewhere else. There are significant long-term savings and efficiency that could be realized by investments in a stronger financial IT backbone, more coordinated purchasing and support policies, etc. It will take structural reform in the office of financial management and a significant change in how decision making about IT investment happens to make these successful and I look forward to working with the new administration to make this work.