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.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.