Switch to state central computer system postponed

Friday, May 9th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ State financial officials have decided to wait three months to switch to a central computer system for state agencies.

The move to a $34.1 million central computer system had been scheduled for July 1.

``This is a positive decision,'' said Tom Jaworski, director of the division of state purchasing. ``It provides more opportunity to make sure the system works well.''

The system, called CORE, will replace Oklahoma's fragmented purchasing, financial and human resources computer systems with one system.

``At this point, we do not feel it will be appropriate to switch to the new system on July 1,'' said state Finance Director Scott Meacham. ``A number of agencies have indicated they may not be ready for conversion at that time, so we felt it was important to be responsive to their needs and to delay implementation of the system.''

In January, state Auditor and Inspector Jeff McMahan raised questions about security, data integrity and the time frame for the shift.

``Without the sufficient time allowance, the state could find itself at July 1, 2003, in a quandary of having developed and expensive way to store unreliable data,'' Meacham wrote in a letter to project members.

Representatives from Oklahoma's largest state agencies have been meeting in recent weeks with CORE team leaders to discuss agency concerns.

Meacham said it was a joint decision to delay the go-live date of the system, and also said the delay is not indefinite.

``State agencies will continue to work with the project staff to meet various deadlines in preparation for the new go-live date,'' he said. ``It is important that we do not lose our momentum, and that agency directors make sure that they continue to commit the personnel necessary to complete this project.''

The delay will not result in added costs to the state, Meacham said.