Saturday, November 7, 2009

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US state cuts IBM contract

The US state of Texas has reportedly pulled its voter registration system out of an ongoing $863 million data center consolidation project being handled by IBM.

Texas Secretary of State's office is said to have cut the project because of data security and disaster recoverability fears.

According to the news report in ComputerWorld, the decision was prompted by an incident in August when a server being managed by IBM crashed resulting in a 13-day outage of the office's business records filing system.

The news article quotes a spokesman from the Secretary of State's office saying that the incident exposed "weaknesses" in IBM's ability to recover lost data.

As a result of the concerns expressed by the Secretary of State's office, Texas Governor Rick Perry and the state's Department of Information Resources, which is overseeing the IBM contract, gave permission for the agency to withdraw its election systems from the contract, the report said. Following its withdrawal from the IBM project, the agency will set up its own data center with two separate back-up locations.

According to the report, an IBM was performing for the Secretary of State's office shows that the project started in November 2004 and was supposed to have been completed by January 2006.

Under the contract, IBM was supposed to have helped Texas build a statewide voter registration system that would be complaint with Help America Vote Act standards.

The new system known as the Texas Election Administration Management, or TEAM, system will replace the existing Texas Voter Registration System.


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