July 8, 2009 By Wayne Hanson
Indystar.com reported today that Indiana's $1.16 billion 10-year social services outsourcing contract is in jeopardy. IBM Corp. and Affiliated Computer Services manage the state's system of distributing food stamps, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and Medicaid payments. The article quoted Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Anne Murphy as saying the deal with IBM could be cancelled. According to the article, 20 percent of food stamp cases are allegedly being mishandled, among other complaints.
In the fall of 2006, Governor Daniels announced the agreement saying it would help clean up "America's worst welfare system" and would save an estimated $500 million in administrative costs over the 10-year span of the agreement.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.