-Comptroller Continues Push to Shut Down State Government-
--After movement to halt state worker pay, drain critical service funds, Comptroller plans to stop payment for critical technology that protects sensitive data--
Following a report from Reuters, Illinois Deputy Governor Trey Childress today called on Comptroller Susana Mendoza to continue payments for critical technology upgrades supported by both political parties that facilitates transparency within government, protects sensitive data, and modernizes Illinois technology to a centralized system that will save taxpayer money.
"It is fiscally irresponsible to continue to operate government using our current financial reporting systems in the State of Illinois," said Deputy Governor Trey Childress. "If Comptroller Mendoza disrupts this process, she will be putting our state, residents and sensitive data at risk by forcing us to function under the current outdated systems and the state will soon be unable to make necessary updates that operate key services."
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) centralizes Illinois' financial reporting and human resources functions and is one of the few initiatives in Illinois where both political parties recognize its value and importance. The Quinn and Topinka Administrations launched ERP in Illinois. The State of Illinois currently operates a patchwork of more than 260 individual financial reporting systems, most of which are not connected and are costly to operate. For example, buying something as simple as a paperclip in Illinois takes four different programs, including a manual input between the third and fourth step.
Most private sector organizations and states have already streamlined their financial reporting systems, but Illinois is one of the few states still operating in the technological Stone Age. Seventy percent of the state's systems operate under an outdated technology platform, with the majority of the programmers reaching or past retirement age. An updated and integrated system will increase transparency, protect sensitive data, and provide more accountability in government.
"Illinois' current financial systems pose a significant threat to our state and residents," said Hardik Bhatt, Secretary-designate of the Department of Innovation and Technology. "After two failed attempts to implement ERP in the past 20 years, Illinois is finally making progress in record time. In the past 15 months, we developed the ERP plan, designed a statewide system, and launched it within three agencies, which is an unprecedented timeline compared to other states. We are now on target to implement ERP in 16 additional agencies within the next 10 months, bringing more than 60 percent of the state's financial data into one system and retiring over 100 older systems."
As Illinois modernizes and streamlines technology systems, the state's cyber-security team has been able to identify and fix weaknesses. This has led the state to secure more than 5 billion records of sensitive information. As an integrated and modern platform, ERP will help the state establish state-of-the-art control mechanisms and improve the audit process, which currently does not exist in any of the existing financial reporting systems.
"Continued progress in the ERP program is crucial to allow Illinois to provide important services and improve its ability to provide transparency and required financial reporting requirements," Deputy Governor Childress added.
For interviews with Deputy Governor Childress and Secretary-designate Bhatt, please contact Eleni Demertzis.