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Another mess that has to be cleaned up

Monday, Jul 29, 2019

* The Daily Line’s Hannah Meisel

The state board in charge of reviewing procurement and contracts and leases for property owned or leased by the state of Illinois failed to promptly pay interest due to vendors during the 2018 fiscal year, according to a new audit.

Auditor General Frank Mautino’s office found the Illinois Procurement Policy Board failed to pay interest on 36 percent of vouchers tested by auditors, according to the audit. The board is responsible for hundreds of vouchers every year.

The board blamed the state’s Enterprise Resource Planning system, a project in its fifth year but not completed, that is $150 million over budget, according to another recent audit. That audit also found that the Department of Innovation and Technology, which has run the planning system since it was created by former Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2016, also let bills pile up and accrue $40 million in late payment interest fees in the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years.

ERP was designed to consolidate hundreds of separate financial reporting and computer systems across state government in a single hub, but in the case of the Procurement Policy Board’s audit, the board blamed the technology developed by German company SAP the state has been on-boarding since 2015.

The board said it was “unable to access the interest due in the new ERP/SAP accounting program and, subsequently, were never able to release payments for the prompt pay interest due,” according to the audit.

The audit report is here.

* Earlier Daily Line coverage…

* DoIT overspent by $150M, dinged on all types of deficiencies from cybersecurity to oil changes: audit

- Posted by Rich Miller        

20 Comments
  1. - R A T - Monday, Jul 29, 19 @ 1:11 pm:

    And rumor has it that two large agencies that are not ready for the system MUST have it running January 1. This sounds like about a $30Billion budget that will be added to this fiasco.


  2. - Robert the Bruce - Monday, Jul 29, 19 @ 1:12 pm:

    If the board is right, shouldn’t the state be suing SAP?


  3. - City Zen - Monday, Jul 29, 19 @ 1:13 pm:

    Are we a smart state yet?

    https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/doit/Strategy/Documents/Smarter%20State%20-%20Illinois%20Case%20Study%20from%20IDC.pdf


  4. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 29, 19 @ 1:14 pm:

    If Mr. Wehrli is looking for Auditor Mautino…

    To the Post,

    Wasn’t it says about DoIT, a solution looking for a problem, wrapped in pinstripe patronage type contracts?

    I’d be hard pressed for anyone to say automation at the state is state of the art, but it wasn’t where a past governor made up an agency had no computers too.

    This mess is now beyond computers, it’s a money mess. This state is defined by money messes. We’re adding another here.


  5. - The Dude Abides - Monday, Jul 29, 19 @ 1:16 pm:

    As bad as we think the Rauner administration was, it was probably even worse.


  6. - @misterjayem - Monday, Jul 29, 19 @ 1:22 pm:

    The board blamed the state’s Enterprise Resource Planning system, a project in its fifth year but not completed, that is $150 million over budget, according to another recent audit. That audit also found that the Department of Innovation and Technology, which has run the planning system since it was created by former Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2016, also let bills pile up and accrue $40 million in late payment interest fees in the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years.

    Yet another example of how the stench of the Rauner administration will linger for years and years.

    – MrJM


  7. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Jul 29, 19 @ 1:31 pm:

    This is a cautionary tale for those advocating radical change in complex systems. Be it IT or health care, sweeping systemic changes have dangers. I prefer incremental change when possible.


  8. - State of DenIL - Monday, Jul 29, 19 @ 1:31 pm:

    Feature, not a bug.


  9. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Jul 29, 19 @ 1:48 pm:

    What is even more galling is CMS / DoIT had, right here in Springfield, an example of financial ERPs “not” working (U of I’s Banner software package in 2003/2004 - do a Google search of the News Gazette website using “Banner” and “software”). To quote V: “Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.”


  10. - Original Rambler - Monday, Jul 29, 19 @ 2:01 pm:

    ERP and SAMS do not play well together. Agencies get caught in the middle.


  11. - Skeptic - Monday, Jul 29, 19 @ 2:06 pm:

    “This is a cautionary tale for those advocating radical change in complex systems” Also the folly of “they’re all State agencies, they’re all alike so they can all use the same system” type thinking.


  12. - Cent IL guy - Monday, Jul 29, 19 @ 2:38 pm:

    If it’s the fault of the system, why isn’t is affecting all agencies? Blaming the system is easy but if other agencies has success, is it really the system’s fault? If so, was the issue reported and not corrected?


  13. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Jul 29, 19 @ 2:46 pm:

    Cent IL guy -
    In some places it works in spite of the ERP due to brute force work effort. Not all agencies have that sort of headcount.


  14. - Cent IL guy - Monday, Jul 29, 19 @ 3:12 pm:

    Anyone Remember -

    I agree, I have some familiarity. That’s why I would expect the entire State to have had issues if it were the fault of the system. Not having appropriate headcount preventing the work from being done isn’t the fault of a system.


  15. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Jul 29, 19 @ 3:43 pm:

    Cent IL guy -
    Lack of headcount should have been a consideration prior to procurement.


  16. - State of DenIL - Monday, Jul 29, 19 @ 3:58 pm:

    This was an intended feature. Worked and works as designed. The GovJunk effort to dismantle the administrative state.


  17. - Justacitizen - Monday, Jul 29, 19 @ 8:07 pm:

    A smart state would require by legislation that an ERP system be implemented and led by the Comptroller’s Office, the chief fiscal officer. All agencies including pension systems and universities must be included and required to be up and running by a date set by legislation. Since the governor and comptroller are the same party, now is the time.


  18. - Anon Y - Tuesday, Jul 30, 19 @ 7:49 am:

    “A Smart state would require by legislation that an ERP system be implemented and led by the Comptroller’s Office, the chief fiscal officer.”

    The project never worked five years down the line still doesn’t. Trying to place a round ball in a square peg doesn’t work. Each agency is different with different needs and mandates. DOIT didn’t care or listen. A 150 million overrun with less than half of the agencies running and no financial reports what a waste of time and money. Blame it on management for not speaking up.


  19. - square peg, meet round hole - Tuesday, Jul 30, 19 @ 7:57 am:

    You can read volumes about SAP and how Illinois’ experience is not unique. SAP is the software that killed off Target Canada’s entire fleet of stores. The entire SAP ethos is to never modify SAP, but rather to bend and fold the client’s systems and methods to fit SAP’s framework, no matter if it makes any sense to do so. It’s been referred to jokingly as: “German flexibility, coupled to an American attention to detail”. SAP started out as software to run a factory. Government is not a factory. That’s part of the problem.


  20. - State Employee In the midde - Tuesday, Jul 30, 19 @ 10:03 pm:

    This mess is just the tip of the ice, now using spreadsheets to go between the two systems. Wow


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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