Doxpop - Tools for Attorneys and Public Information Researchers: Where is the other $35 million?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Where is the other $35 million?

As many of you are aware, Doxpop has been working hard to restore the data feed of public information that we lost when Monroe County (in 2008) and Hamilton County (in 2009) moved to the Odyssey case management system run by the State of Indiana. We're still working on this, but with a request still pending from 2007, we're beginning to think cooperation from this new state agency won't be forthcoming without oversight and action from the legislature.

An article that ran yesterday in the Louisville Courier Journal highlights the sort of math that has provided justification for the Odyssey system and contributed to Indiana's budget crisis. Oddly, the reporter didn't notice the conflicting numbers in his own article.

The article opens with: "After nine years and $51 million spent, Indiana is progressing toward a statewide computer system... "

The same article closes with: "DePrez believes a single statewide system is cheaper than the total cost of the 23 systems now in use.... The state has paid Tyler $12 million in one-time fees and is contracted to pay the company $443,670 a year to provide annual maintenance..."

OK... math time: 9 years at $443,670 = $4 million. Add that to $12 million and we get $16 million. Where is the other $35 million out of the $51 million referenced in the first section? Could it be that Odyssey isn't really cheaper than the private sector solution when you add in the missing money?

Maybe the legislature can bring some clarity to this confusing set of numbers. Senate Bill 60 proposes an oversight commission that may be able to resolve the discrepancies and encourage cooperation. A couple of other bloggers have noticed this bill and commented on it here and here.

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