ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

More News on Government Technology Contracts

SuperWe have perviously posted examples of government contracting difficulties relating to technology contracts and websites.  Saturday's New York Times featured this op-ed by Georgetown Law Professor David A. Super (pictured), which chronicles technology contracting problems that have disproportionately affected the poor.  

Some recent technology contracts gone wrong that did not make the headlines:

  • 66,000 Georgia food stamp recipients and about half that many Medicaid recipients had their benefits terminated for failing to respond to renewal notices that, through a contractor's error, had never been sent;
  • A Massachusetts contractor deactivated food stamp cards because new ones had been sent without seeking any confirmation that the new ones had been received; and
  • A contractor's errors made food stamps unavailable to people in 17 states.

Super concludes:

Properly supervised contractors can use technology to improve the delivery of government services. But attention, oversight and willingness to act decisively to remedy fiascoes seem to depend on the wealth and clout of those who are affected. As Obamacare regains its footing, that lesson shouldn’t be forgotten.


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