Tech – New Immigration Data System is a 3.4 Bil Failure – Nov 2015

– Washington Post

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DC bureaucrats waste 3.4 Bil designing info system no one can use basically

“Heaving under mountains of paperwork, the government has spent more than $1 billion trying to replace its antiquated approach to managing immigration with a system of digitized records, online applications and a full suite of nearly 100 electronic forms.

A decade in, all that officials have to show for the effort is a single form that’s now available for online applications and a single type of fee that immigrants pay electronically. The 94 other forms can be filed only with paper.

This project, run by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, was originally supposed to cost a half-billion dollars and be finished in 2013. Instead, it’s now projected to reach up to $3.1 billion and be done nearly four years from now, putting in jeopardy efforts to overhaul the nation’s immigration policies, handle immigrants already seeking citizenship and detect national security threats, according to documents and interviews with former and current federal officials.”

– by  November 8 at 8:40 PM

– Excellent article on how a comprehensive federal program resulted in comprehensive failure. No surprises there I guess.

I especially liked the following:

“From the start, the initiative was mismanaged, the records and interviews show. Agency officials did not complete the basic plans for the computer system until nearly three years after the initial $500 million contract had been awarded to IBM, and the approach to adopting the technology was outdated before work on it began.”


Remember those salient facts the next time you hear for a comprehensive fix to anything federal.

Sadly or or not, Silicon Valley, a Google or Amazon is probably a better fit to solve problems like this, certainly not the dysfunctional and moribund Washington D.C. bureaucracies.

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