Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Privatizing Information Technology Services in WV CODE RED Personal Data Security ALERT
Is your personal data held by the government of West Virginia safe and secure? Not if the Office of Technology is successful with the plan to privatize information technology services in West Virginia.After the privatization of the essential government function of the management of personal data and information, there is no guarantee that any personal data currently maintained by employees in the state of West Virginia will continue to be maintained in this state, much less in this country. PEIA couldn’t even protect employee data when it privatized certain services to a contractor in Pennsylvania. Last year the US Department of Agriculture further warned the WV Secretary of DHHR that the outsourcing of key application processing duties to for-profit organizations is an unwise use of State and Federal resources that undermine program accountability. The privatization of information technology services represents an unacceptable security risk exposing the personal data of every citizen of West Virginia. Other states that have privatized information technology services have experienced dramatic cost increases, significant declines in customer service and the loss of hundreds of highly skilled employees with the institutional knowledge and expertise that is necessary to maintain information technology systems. Once information technology services are privatized the damage to the states infrastructure and budgets are frequently irreversible. Because information technology services are complex, highly skilled and rapidly transforming, out of all of the government services, privatizing information technology is the most difficult to accomplish and the privatization of information technology services is seldom cost competitive. WV’s Chief Technology Officer is yet to identify what the cost of providing this service is compared to what purchasing these services from the private sector will cost. Even IBM stated in their “secret” efficiency study that IBM cannot provide information technology services at less cost than the state can provide these services for in house. In his July 10, 2010, STATEMENT FROM THE GOVERNOR REGARDING THE ALCAN VOTE, Governor Manchin said “West Virginians deserve to have quality, secure jobs and the opportunity to work. In this current global economic downturn, we are forced to fight harder each day to keep and create good jobs.” Governor Manchin should be fighting just as hard to keep these information technology jobs here in West Virginia not privatizing these good jobs at a higher cost to the taxpayers, compromising our information security and crippling the state workers ability to perform our jobs. The West Virginia Public Workers Union calls on the West Virginia Legislature to require the Office of Technology implement any comprehensive statewide technology plan with at least a modest amount of transparency and require that a cost benefit analysis of this deal to privatize West Virginia‘s information technology services be conducted before the states valuable human resources are squandered away.
Posted by WV State Gov't Watcher at 10:35 AM