“On The Money” Profile on the AOC Airs

Sacramento CBS affiliate KOVR 13 aired their piece on the AOC last night. If you’d like to see the piece yourself, you can view it by clicking here. And don’t forget that you might also want to tune into radio station KHTK Sports 1140 this afternoon beginning at 2:00 p.m. where they will be continuing a discussion started by the “On the Money” piece.  You can listen to the radio broadcast live online at their website.

Screenshot of Ron Overholt who sang the virtues of the AOC’s $1 billion CCMS software program.

On The Money: Court Controversy

California is so deep in debt that courthouses are closed one day a month. Many judges have taken voluntary pay cuts, but not everyone apparently, is feeling the pain.

Turns out, dozens of people in the court system received raises over the last two years.

In court, a growing number of judges are in open revolt.” To pass out raises like this in this climate, I think is just outrageous,” Sacramento Superior Court Judge Loren McMaster told CBS13 in an exclusive interview.

McMaster is critical of the Administrative Office of the Courts – the AOC – which gave out pay raises of 3% and higher to roughly 80 staffers, many of them already making six figure salaries.

Click here to read more and to view video.

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46 responses to ““On The Money” Profile on the AOC Airs

  1. I would like to thank Presiding Judge Steve White and Judge Loren McMaster for participating in the story and being interviewed. It probably wasn’t an easy decision; however they were absolutely more credible than Ron Overholt. Seriously “it works beautifully” where exactly? Thanks to everyone who has stepped up to get the information out in the main news stream.

  2. Nathaniel Woodhull

    Pretty disappointing, considering what could have been done. I wonder how much of the “good stuff” ended up on the cutting room floor so that the producers could fit it into such a small segment. Why no follow-up to Ron’s claim that “It works beautifully.” As what….as an ornament on the bench?

    • That was how I first felt, but I think anything that gets on a main news media show is better than absolutely nothing. Hoping it is like kindling and the information fire starts to spread. I thought it was an added bonus the CCMS was even mentioned, because the story leads just talked about the raises. Since they opened the door, maybe they will do follow-up.

  3. This deserves wider visibility:

    Some judges told CBS 13 the computer system is running well in Southern California and also in San Joaquin County. However the contract for the system has been amended ninety-six times and the final price tag – now approaching $2 billion, is still up in the air. Even the Administrative Office of the Courts doesn’t know what the final tally will be, according to testimony at the Capitol from hearings last October. The new completion date for the Court Case Management System is now projected to be 2014, Ronald Overholt told CBS 13.

  4. Claire Voyant

    Who amends a contract 96 times? Someone who does not know what they are doing.

  5. It was a good piece but far too short to engender wider public interest. We can only hope it is part of a wider cascade of information which the Legislature can sample and really understand how bad things are at the AOC.

    Ron Overholt did not make a good spokesperson for the AOC. He looked positively arrogant and his comment about the virtue of the CCMS system laughable. Its hard to know whether he actually believes that nonsense or is lying. In either case, the AOC comes out the loser and the court system continues to suffer from this incompetence at the highest level of management.

  6. Poor Mr. Overholt. I guess he did not read the Fact Sheet put out by the Judicial Council dated August 2009. On page 5 of the fact sheet there is a section called “Project Timeline”. It says,” Design and development of the final phase of the CCMS product began in July 2007 and will be completed by late 2010. Deployment planning activities will begin in late 2009.”

    How did late 2010 turn into 2014?

    Has any private sector enterprize ever considerred having a 1.7 billion project that did not go through an open bidding process?

    There are many good reasons why an open bidding process is a good practice. First, when one puts something out to bid they have to put, in writing, what it is they want to accomplish; what the person is willing to pay for what is to be accomplished; when the task will be accomplished and what will happen if the person who gets the bid fails to accomplish the task, on time and within the budget. Apparently none of this has been done by the AOC.

    Second, once the proposal for certain work at a certain price and with a certain time limit is put out for an open bid various suppliers have a chance to look over the proposal. Had the AOC done this they would have had an opportunity to compare suppliers and chose the one best suited by qualifications and price to do the work. Apparently, the AOC did not do this but simply chose Deloitte Consulting.

    I cannot believe any member of the Judicial Council or any member of the AOC would have had the roof of their house replaced without going through the above process.

    Third, and this is especially true in contracts for which the taxpayer will be paying, an open and competative bidding process helps to avoid corruption or the appearance of corruption and/or favoritism.

  7. Nathaniel Woodhull

    Has anyone noticed how Mr. Vickery has been MIA lately?

  8. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    His disapproval rating is 82%. Ron-O’s is only 70%. Our guess is his public silence and internal AOC evangelism in the current AOC annual meetings is designed to move him out of the public spotlight and move a lesser target into the public spotlight, which is the reason Ron-O did the KOVR interview rather than Mr. Bill.

    Besides, when every public statement you make is publicly impeached, its a good idea not to make anymore public statements and try to let it all blow over.

    PR 101 – know when to stay out of the public spotlight.

  9. Thousands and ultimately millions of dollars of state money are being wasted on this travesty in the Los Angeles Criminal Courts building. Please investigate this :
    Division 40:8CA10541 (101)
    Division 95: ZM015295RM

  10. There is no rational reason for all this. Good software could be designed in a matter of weeks. The whole thing could be done very quickly and very inexpensively but that assumes the designers know what they’re doing.

  11. Please ComputerGeek tell us what CCMS should have cost the AOC.

    Omerta has personally spoken to a person who has an MA in Electrical Engineering and a law degree. This person has been in the computer business for about 20 years and is now the head of the legal department of a company that makes computer parts. This person gave me a ballpark figure and I would be interested in comparing that figure to yours. Please be very liberal in your estimate.

  12. A couple million dollars to do all the software, write a User’s Manual, distribute it, tell people how to install it. Electrical engineering has little to do with this and a law degree means absolutely nothing in this arena. Users would need basic desktop productivity software and reasonably up to date Windows PCs.

    • Obi-Wan Kenobi

      While they will not disclose this to just anyone, many of AOC’s own IT department share this view. If you interrogated all of their seasoned developers about the amount of hours that is required to execute code like this you will get a small, affordable figure. Go to any company where commercial software is produced and ask them how much it would cost to develop and it won’t come anywhere near this amount.

      Let’s put this into perspective: The X prize foundation just gave 10 million dollars to the first commercial company to fly into space. Now Progressive Insurance is offering a $10 million dollar automotive x-prize to produce the worlds most efficient commercially marketable vehicle.

      How about a Judicial Branch x prize for CCMS? If the Judicial Council sponsored a CCMS x-prize for even 20 million dollars we would be more than 750 million dollars ahead of the game.

      Give the universities six months to submit their entries, give the AOC six months to review and make the award.

  13. Interesting. You may or may not be right about the EE degree and law degree and the experience but he/she came up with a maximum of 10 million dollars.

    When I gave him the figure of 1.7 billion (1700 million for those of you who might have forgotten just how much a billion is) he/she was aghast. “Somebody is being paid off” he said.

    Omerta does not believe, or perhaps does not went to believe, there is a pay off but rather ignorance and stupidity.

    You need to write an article about this in the Recorder or some other publication and communicate your opinions to the Legislature. It is certain the Judicial Council and the AOC will not take you seriously. Are you alone in this opinion or can you get a peer review of your opinion? You do not want to be called “shrill” or “üninformed” or get tagged as being a Luddite.

    If you and my friend are even sort of correct then CCMS is the biggest computer fiasco in the history of California if not in the United States.

    • Obi-Wan Kenobi

      I think you’ll find it more like…. The AOC gives 1.75 billion dollars for CCMS. In turn, the company that developed CCMS provides generous grants here and there of $462,000 for a governors project or $1,000,000.00 to an executive directors favorite association to institutions and not for profit charities and pet projects that, in turn, pay consulting fees or hire those that have skin in the game or create an avenue for a future employment opportunity with a wink and a nod. Open bribery? Not really, but it is damn close and convincing enough to happen every day around the world – including here in California and the most politically savvy in making these wink and nod deals are……… let’s say it together now…. DEFENSE CONTRACTORS like Jacobs, AGS and Deloitte.

      Ma and Pa low bidder don’t have a chance unless changing law gives them that chance.

      It’s been working this way for years.

  14. Interesting, Omerta, that your friend came up with an estimate of $10 Million max. I came in with a low ball estimate because I would rather do it myself for such a figure and have to spend a bunch of time on all the specialty forms, etc. than have the court system implode over this. And Obi-Wan Kenobi, bidding wouldn’t come into play if this was done intelligently now because RFPs on these projects are often a major source of the problems. They often contain impossible, totally impractical, or just plain ridiculous “requirements” drawn up by people who don’t have a clue what they’re doing.

  15. Burj Dubai Tower: highest in the world at 2717 feet; construction started 21 September 2004; construction completed 4 January 2010. Cost 1.5 billion.

    CCMS: started in 2002; completion date varies between 2010 and 2014; cost to date is 1.7 billion.

    For good reason Ken Starr believes that California has a good chance of being the first “failed state” in the United States.

    Get a good peer review of your opinions and publish the results. Maybe the Legislature will put an end to this insanity.

    O,yes: the Burj Dubai Tower is about as unnecessary as CCMS but it works.

  16. Actually, Omerta, the amount spent to date is about $500 Million. The currently projected cost is $1.75 Billion. Unless this is curbed, the sky is the limit because some things being talked about are likely impossible and would consume an endless amount of money if allowed to do so.
    Obi-Wan Kenobi, I’m going to make an educated guess that you either work at the AOC or work at some agency that has regular contact with the AOC. So I have a question. If the IT folks at the AOC know that what Omerta’s friend and I are saying about legitimate cost is in the right ball park, how come they haven’t told Sheila Calabro? Or have they?
    And Omerta, I also want to believe this is just ignorance and stupidity. I doubt seriously if Sheila Calabro has a clue about the technology considerations.

  17. Thanks for bringing me back to earth on the current and projected cost of CCMS. You know, a million here and a million there and it soon adds up to real money.

    Omerta heard Sheila Calabro talk about what CCMS was and what it was going to accomplish sometime in 2002-2004. Your “serious doubts”about her knowledge of the technology involved in CCMS is accurate. Then I listened to her at the Legislative Hearings in October 2009 and my opinion did not change. The poor woman has been asked to do a task to which she is not qualified for by training or experience . It has not been fair to her to ask her to manage CCMS.

    The kind thing would be to bring in someone who knows what they are doing and is willing to stand up to Mr. Vickrey and Mr. Overholt. But to do this they would have to admit they have made a mistake. The Chief Justice, the Judicial Council, and the leaders of the AOC cannot do that. They also will not have anyone around who might not agree with them. There are good people in the AOC that can run CCMS and control its costs and get it accomplished before 2013/2014. Ms.Calabro is not one of those people from what I have seen.

  18. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    Omerta is correct. The AOC spends its way out of mistakes – it does not admit to them.

    Anyone pointing out that this could be done affordably is dismissed as being ignorant. This is the way at the AOC. Pick the most expensive route possible to accomplish anything and that will be the direction the AOC takes.

  19. If people at the AOC know this could be done for less than $10 Million, why don’t they contact people like leaders of the Alliance of California Judges, and say that? The judges are also hearing that it could be done for a reasonable amount. Get together and back an effort to have people like myself create the software.

  20. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    a 10 mil project wouldn’t consist of winks and nods funding of pet projects. It would more likely consist of no more than 8 application developers to knock the whole thing out.

    How can you funnel funding to your pet projects without having a high speed cash tunnel to spread that wealth around?

    First, someone has to reform the way the AOC does business and until that happens, any suggestion that it can be done for less will fall on deaf ears.

  21. Obi-Wan Kenobi, would the folks you know in IT at the AOC come forward and explain that what Omerta’s friend and I are saying about legitimate cost is correct if they had whistle-blower protection? If so, have them contact the Alliance of California Judges. ACJ is asking the Legislature to grant such protection for AOC employees.

  22. If any AOC employees want to be able to speak out, have them contact Judge W. Kent Hamlin, Fresno Superior Court, an ACJ member. (559) 457-6356, and Assemblywoman Audra Strickland, from Ventura. (916) 319-2037. She is on the Assembly Committee on Accountability & Administrative Review. Have the workers request legislation protecting them if they speak out.

    • Wendy Darling

      Will Judge Hamlin and Assemblywoman Strickland guarantee protection to any such AOC employee who does so from losing their job?

  23. If the employees speak to those persons, they are safe as far as those conversations go. As far as being able to speak out publicly goes, that would require statutory protection. That’s why the employees should talk to ACJ and support legislation on the subject. The Alliance of California Judges is currently asking the Legislature to pass legislation covering whistle-blower protection for AOC employees as well as various curbs on AOC powers. I would suggest that any interested AOC employees start with Judge Hamlin or some other member of ACJ. I think it’s quite interesting that Omerta’s friend and I have similar estimates of what automation of court records should cost. He’s at $10 M max and I said I would do it for $2 M. I have written considerably more complex (in terms of coding/planning issues) software than what would be required for the courts and associated justice agencies. The only reason it would logically cost more than a couple million is the sheer number of associated electronic forms required. And I write this stuff extremely fast so I’m willing to stick my neck out and do it at the low end just to save the court system.

    • Many AOC employees previously spoke with members of the Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review prior to the hearing in Sacramento in October. Given that the employees at the AOC have none of the employment protections that other State employees have and therefore do not have any way to protect themselves from being fired for coming forward, I’m pretty sure that at this point the employees of the AOC are waiting to see what, if anything, the State Legislature is going to do about what has been and is going on at the AOC before exposing themselves to any more risk, because there is already more than enough known that makes it clear something needs to be done and someone in a position of authority needs to step up. The employees at the AOC are getting tired of being the ones to come forward and getting sacraficed for it when they don’t see anyone taking the responsibility to actually do anything to stop it. Especially when in the absence of knowing exactly who has been trying to help the Assembly committee of the AJC, the AOC goes after everyone it suspects and makes their life at work at the AOC a daily nightmare.

  24. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    Some of the people that have the most knowledge have already been fired and are represented by counsel as a result. One retained counsel before blowing the whistle. Judges cannot ethically get all of the information they would need to act, nor can the whistleblowers provide all of the information necessary for prosecution, nor does anyone have the authority to investigate the AOC other than the AOC and they are not about to investigate themselves.

    There is enough knowledge out there for anyone to come to the conculsion that these things could not occur without undue influence. How many of these people are coming to this realization is a whole other matter.

    A stand-back analysis on all that has been exposed points to the direct involvement of the highest ranking members of both the AOC and the Judicial Council themselves for only they have the power to call for an investigation and they are choosing not to make that call.

    Contrary to what Ron-O stated about the unlicensed contractors “We don’t know how this could have happened, that’s why we’re having the AG look into how this could have happened” this statement is a falsehood designed to make people believe that this is being investigated by the AG when no such investigation has been requested and no such investigation is underway.

    The only thing the AOC has requested of the AOC is that the AG file suit against the two unlicensed contractors for not being licensed.

    It is because of this stand-back analysis that no investigation will be permitted by the AOC or the Judicial Council.

    Short of giving someone outside of the AOC/JC the power and authority to audit, investigate and prosecute then we’re dealing with a branch of government that is constitutionally beyond the reach of anyone in state government.

    I’m sure that most judges that post to this board would concur that what we have is a constitutional crisis.

    Independence of the Judiciary is important. The question is – is the independence of the Judiciary important enough to permit this constitutional crisis to prevent an investigation ?

    Is it important enough to sacrifice trial court funding for the next year so that more empty courthouses can be built or so that hundreds of millions more dollars can be dumped into CCMS?

    Regrettably, many of the Judges that support the AOC are willing to stand behind the AOC and let the AOC spend “whatever it takes” to complete CCMS regardless of the costs or the amount of time it will take. They support the courthouse construction even though they can’t afford to man these new courthouses.

    I cannot possibly underscore how important this upcoming judicial council meeting is for the benefit of the branch as a whole. Unless we can get our legislators on the council to intervene, unless we can manage to sway the hearts and minds of others on the judicial council, unless we can get other legislators involved in a broad front with judges across the state that stop being AOC lapdogs and start asking some difficult questions, not a damn thing will change and business as usual will continue.

    We believe that there is ample evidence to call for a forensic audit of both the AOC, their consultants and vendors with an eye on detecting fraud and impropriety and an investigation and prosecution of those responsible.

    Now as to if there is the political willpower to make it happen – to drop the robes of the judiciary that the AOC is hiding behind to conduct this investigation is another matter.

    There is ample reason. As of yet, there does not appear to be the political willpower to make it happen.

  25. Although I have said this before, I think it is worth repeating.

    The issue of court closures cannot be analyzed in isolation. There has to be an evaluation of all budget options, including suspending CCMS development, using some or all of SB 1407 revenue generated to date for court operations and a line item review of the AOC’s progam expenditures.

    If the issue is framed as whether court closures should continue if they resulted in cost savings, the answer is a foregone conclusion. Of course, closures will result in cost savings. Closures are an effective and expedient method to reduce labor and security costs. If there were two closures days/month, I expect cost savings would double.

    The issue should not be whether closures should continue if they result in costs savings. The issue should be approached from the perspective that closures should only continue as an absolutely last resort measure after considering all other available resources and approaches to costs savings.

    CCMS – Unless the AOC can show the JC that it has a reasonable expectation that it will receive or be able to identify the source of the $1.0 billion (at least) it will take to implement the system, the JC should direct the AOC to start looking at alternative solutions for a statewide CMS. In 2000 the AOC had a well designed plan that was approved by the JC. The plan included using a certified vendor system, that would allow courts to purchase a CMS from an vendor who established it could meet certain requirements. The AOC abandoned this plan after a number for vendors were certified in favor of the CCMS solution. At the time the AOC prepared its report, it was estimated that it would cost approximately $7.0 million for the 20 smallest courts in the state to purchase and deploy new CMS from the pool of certified vendors.

    The AOC will argue that to abandon CCMS at this point will result in a loss of the investment already made. I believe an equally compelling counter-argument can be made. To continue to spend limited resources to develop a system that will never see the light of day due to a lack of funds to deploy it, will only increase the costs that will never be recovered.

    SB 1407 – The bonds that will be used for financing the construction of new courthouses and which will be serviced by the SB 1407 fee increase have not been issued yet. It is unclear as to why at least a portion of the funds collected to do date could not be used for operations to get the courts through the current crisis. The legislature is aware of this revenue and authorized its use in both 09-10 and 10-11 to fund operations. Therefore, any argument that these funds can only be used for construction lack merit.

    I hope the individual JC members ask the AOC to perform an analysis of the budget using a variety of scenarios to determine if further closures can be avoided.

  26. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    I still like the idea of an X-prize. It would get it done in a year and for a flat fee of 10 million.

  27. And, with good cooperation, I would have the basics of it done in less than a month. And it would run like a Swiss watch. But nothing is likely to happen unless the legislative members of the JC go back to their legislative bodies and get urgency legislation passed to protect whistle-blowers of any kind or character, whether employed directly by the AOC, employed indirectly, just do business with them, just a member of the public, etc.

  28. Judge Maino,
    Good afternoon. Going back over the comments, I noticed your discussion of the lack of a bidding process. Actually, more open bidding wouldn’t have made any difference in this case. The reason is that on these crazy state IT projects that go south, the genesis of the problem is often in the RFP. I.e., the project is doomed before any code is ever written. I haven’t seen any RFP for CCMS, and don’t even know if there was one, but there was certainly some set of “requirements” from which Deloitte worked.
    What often happens – and I have seen this by looking at actual RFPs on other IT projects – is that the people writing the RFP fancy that they know what to do. They often set up “requirements” that shouldn’t be there because they are hugely impractical. They often set up requirements that overlook years and years of recent computer software/technology developments. Sometimes they insert requirements that are actually impossible.
    In order for an RFP or some conceptually similar planning document to make sense, it has to be written by someone who actually knows how to write modern software. And that is rarely the situation.
    A much better procedure to follow (in recognition of the fact that someone like Sheila Calabro or anyone else at the AOC is unlikely to know how to write modern software) is to simply describe what the agency would like to do with their data and have people submit prototypes. Use a “test drive” approach. Use intended end-users as inputters and testers.
    Ask Judge Hamlin up in Fresno what he’s seen in the way of possible court management software and whether he has seen an end-user input/testing procedure and how well did it work.
    The answer to getting good software/system for handling trial court data is really simple and it shouldn’t cost anywhere near what CCMS has already spent.

  29. Or they could have just gone with the one company that passed their certification process in 2002 (and they made the system jump through hoop after hoop). In fact, the AOC of the State of Nevada has quite successfully implemented the very same system in most (maybe all by now) of their courts. It was pretty much ready to go off the shelf, and it works very well. Of course, some special interest coffers would not be as wealthy . . . . .

  30. Paper Pusher, I have heard that the system is horrible in Nevada (from a users standpoint). They used a company that was former called SCT and now is ACS. Ask the courts in California that tried to use their system, especially in the areas of traffic and criminal, what their experience was with this company: Fresno, Butte, Glenn, San Luis Obispo, Kings, etc. They run a close second to DeLoitte and their product was certianly NOT off the shelf!

  31. No, the system I reference is CourtView designed by Dave Crawford who at that time was with Maximus. So that tells me they have yet to implement it in all the courts. Saw a demo in Carson City, and all court staff were very happy with it.

    • Maximus was one of several vendors who were certified by the AOC

      • ACS, Inc.
      • HTE/SunGard Inc.
      • ISD Corporation
      • Maximus Inc.
      • Sustain Technologies, Inc.

  32. Humm, very interesting Paper Pusher! I guess they must have dumped SCT/ACS. Glad to hear it!

  33. Dear ComputerGeek;

    I agree with your comments. If the person seeking the contract has anything to do with the RFP the person seeking the contract will draft things in such a fashion as to insure that they get the contract.

    I was thinking of the roof example. If Mr. Vickrey or Ms. Calabro or anyone else on the Judicial Council needed new roof they would not contact the roofer for a RFP. Rather, they would say that they needed a new roof and they needed it to cost X amount of dollars and that it would be on the house before the rainy season. What hs happened here is that they went to the roofer and said,”Put on a roof”. What they happened is that the roofer went crazy and put on a roof that was made of gold leaf, with cooper drains, and so forth. Then it was found out by some persons in the house ( The Sacramento Court?) that the roof leaked and was not functional.

    I would have envisioned a RFP that would have set out broad outlines of what was to be accomplished, the cost of the accomplishment, the date by which the project would be accomplished and what would happen if they failed to accomplish the task.

    The AOC has written a blank check and it appears to me they, and the taxpayer, have been taken for a very expensive ride.

  34. Judge Maino,
    I think you have it pretty well nailed. One problem underlying all this may well be that Ms. Calabro, the Chief Justice, Mr. Vickery and others were simply taken in. They don’t understand technology and specifically do not understand how to write modern software. So, just like with briefing, they depend to a large extent on what they are told. They were given bad advice. They listened to the wrong people. They got taken. A lot of money is gone out the door. Now they’re in a jam.
    Then, when people like me come along and tell them a shockingly different story, they don’t know who or what to believe. It then comes down to a defining moment when they have to pick one explanation or another.
    If you want to know what to believe, call Judge Hamlin in Fresno. I haven’t been able to get through so far to Justice George, Ms. Calabro, Mr. Vickery, or any of the other powers that be although I have offered to help, including giving them a demonstration. If ACJ gets through to the Legislature, I will show people how to do this for a few million dollars at most, and the final product will be preceded by a free prototype demonstration.
    As to RFPs, in general RFPs aren’t well suited to IT projects. The problem lies in the fact that the product is not yet in existence. It’s intellectual work. You can’t go out and look at a finished product off the shelf. You can’t try it out or even ask someone else if it works well because it doesn’t exist yet.
    The answer is to not use RFPs, don’t rely on contracts and promises, and instead insist on demonstrations in advance of any money changing hands.
    The whole thing could be done in a very short time and for a tiny fraction of the CCMS cost. It wouldn’t look anything like CCMS, common functions would run as fast as the worker hits the keys, and it would be easy to use.
    Would you like to see a prototype? Call Judge Hamlin.

  35. Interesting comments about a RFP and IT projects. But would not these comments also apply to a new airplane which is a physical product but also an intellectual work?

    It takes a lot of courage for anyone, and especially anyone who is high on the political/legal ladder, to admit they were and are wrong.

    I am off the air until after the 21st: the biggest and most contentious issue for the judicial branch in decades has been the closures. I find it distressing that only 10 minutes is being given to public comment.

  36. To a certain extent, there is an analogy. But in the case of airplanes, many of the parts are common from old design to new. And those parts have been tested in the real world. Also, people buying commercial airplanes actually buy from what is already there. Boeing desgins and builds a new airliner. Then airlines shop for them, even though they may have put in a tentative order in advance. No money changes hands until the new airliner model has been demonstrated to work and the airliner is actually delivered to say, United Airlines.
    But the state IT project model works in a different and very foolish way. Money is passed to some company such as Deloitte Consulting while the produce is still being developed. By the time anyone realizes there are huge problems, a lot of money is gone. Then the buyer has that sinking feeling, sort of like being “pot committed” in a Texas holdem poker game. Now good money goes after bad.
    And anyone searching the Internet could easily figure out that Deloitte has had numerous huge problems with other projects.
    Have you talked to Judge Hamlin yet?