Tag Archives: Kansas

Privatization talks continue for Osawatomie State Hospital

Source: Charity Keitel, Miami County Republic, March 7, 2018
The word “privatization” was the elephant in the room during Thursday’s Osawatomie State Hospital (OSH) town hall meeting at Memorial Hall. Residents met with representatives from Correct Care Recovery Solutions, Secretary Tim Keck of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) and area legislators hoping to learn more about what a transition from a state-operated facility to a privately-operated facility would entail. And it wasn’t just residents who had questions. Rep. Jene Vickrey questioned Keck a few times, clarifying some of his concerns about the request for proposal (RFP) for privatization as well as his displeasure that KDADS is drafting a bill, regarding the RFP, to be introduced this late into the legislative session. …


KDADS Secretary makes pitch to privatize Osawatomie
Source: Melissa Brunner, WIBW, August 30, 2017
The Kansas Dept. for Aging and Disability services is making the case to privatize the Osawatomie State Hospital.   Secretary Tim Keck presented information Wednesday to state lawmakers and community leaders. Over nearly two hours, Keck detailed the history Osawatomie, the issues it has experienced in recent years and steps the state has taken to address the problems.  Looking to the future, Keck detailed a bid from Correct Care Recovery Solutions to rebuild and run Osawatomie, which lost federal certification in 2015. Correct Care runs mental health facilities around the country. …

State officials hope to replace, privatize Osawatomie State Hospital
Source: Peter Hancock, Lawrence Journal-World, August 30, 2017

State officials in Kansas began laying out their case Wednesday for why they think the state should replace the aging and troubled Osawatomie State Hospital with a new facility and hand over management of the facility to a for-profit, out-of-state corporation. Tim Keck, secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, which manages the psychiatric hospital, said the hospital has become too challenging for the state to manage, and it is time for the state to make a decision. …

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Kansas Senate bills expand reach of lobbyist registration, oppose private management of state prisons

Source: Tim Carpenter, Topeka Capital-Journal, February 20, 2018
Motivation for sweeping change in lobbying registration centered on behind-the-scenes activity to influence the administration of Gov. Sam Brownback when considering a controversial 20-year, $360 million contract with CoreCivic to build and maintain a new state prison in Lansing.  Opponents of the lease-to-own pact, approved in January, said they were concerned about being blindsided by CoreCivic’s strategy to privatize the state’s prison system.  Meanwhile, the Senate advanced to final action Senate Bill 328, which would block privatization by the executive branch of security operations and personnel management at state correctional facilities. The Kansas Department of Corrections would still be able to contract for food, medical and other support services.  Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, R-Overland Park, said the bill declared the corrections system wouldn’t be open to privatization without approval of the Legislature. …


Editorial: Bill against privatized prisons right move
Source: Topeka Capital-Journal, February 11, 2018
A bipartisan bill co-sponsored by majority and minority leaders of the Kansas Senate would limit privatization at state prisons and maintain the role the Kansas Department of Corrections fulfills regarding day-to-day operations of those facilities.  The legislation was authored after a 20-year, $362 million lease-to-own contract for a new state prison in Lansing was approved by the State Finance Council.  CoreCivic, which is based in Tennessee, was contracted to build the new prison. However, under measures outlined in the bill, which was endorsed by the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee, CoreCivic would not be granted authority to oversee personnel operations at Kansas adult and juvenile facilities. …

Kansas Senate GOP, Democrats embrace bill limiting privatization at state prisons
Source: Tim Carpenter, Topeka Capital-Journal, February 7, 2018
A rare exhibition of Senate bipartisanship Wednesday led to a committee’s prompt approval of a bill to prohibit outsourcing of personnel management operations at state prison facilities.  Motivation for the change reflected apprehension about approval of a $362 million contract with CoreCivic, a Tennessee company that builds and operates private prisons, to construct and maintain for 20 years a new Lansing Correctional Facility.  Under the contract, the Kansas Department of Corrections would retain supervision of corrections officers, wardens and other personnel. … Robert Choromanski, executive director of the Kansas Organization of State Employees, said the union supported the Senate bill because it would clearly prohibit outsourcing or privatization of management operations at state corrections facilities.  He said KOSE had many officers, counselors, maintenance specialists and administrative assistants who “do a fine job of making the state prison facilities run in a professional manner under trying circumstances working long hours for little pay.” …

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Kansas gives Medicaid contractor until June 1 to improve

Source: Associated Press, February 17, 2018
The company processing Medicaid applications in Kansas faces fines of up to $250,000 a day and the loss of its state contract because it is far out of compliance with the required performance standards.  The Wichita Eagle reports that state sent Maximus a noncompliance letter Jan. 30 that gives the Virginia-based company until June 1 to fix problems that include only 40 percent accuracy on financial payments. State Medicaid Director Jon Hamdorf disclosed the action during a meeting of a legislative oversight committee Friday.  If the company fails to shape up, it could face fines retroactive to the beginning of the year, possibly totaling tens of millions of dollars. …


Hospitals slam Kansas’ proposed Medicaid overhaul
Source: Virgil Dickson, Modern Healthcare, January 3, 2018
Providers are concerned that a new waiver to overhaul Kansas’ Medicaid program will impede access to care and further empower managed-care plans, which they claim lack proper oversight.   For years, Kansas providers have complained the state’s Medicaid program, known as KanCare, was complex to work under and that it underpaid or didn’t pay at all for services.  Rather than revamp KanCare’s oversight of the plans, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback submitted a waiver late last month that appears to cede additional power to them, providers said. …

Legislative Panel Backs KanCare Renewal Plan, But Opponents Hope To Block Implementation
Source: Jim Mclean, KCUR, December 1, 2017

Republican legislators have temporarily sidetracked an effort to block the Brownback administration from obtaining federal approval to renew KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program. Democrats on a joint committee that oversees KanCare wanted the panel’s report to the full Legislature to recommend keeping the current program in place until a newly elected governor takes office in January 2019. … In addition to the timing issue, advocates and some lawmakers are concerned about several provisions in the administration’s KanCare 2.0 plan, including work requirements and lifetime caps on services for some beneficiaries. …

GOP candidates fight over health program serving 400,000 Kansans
Source: Jonathan Shorman, Wichita Eagle, November 26, 2017
A fight between the Republican candidates for governor over the state’s privatized Medicaid program could shape what happens to the health care of more than 400,000 Kansans.  The next governor could abandon a proposed work requirement for some recipients of KanCare, which serves people who are poor, elderly or have disabilities. Or he could pursue Medicaid expansion.  Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, who is preparing to become governor, spearheaded the creation of KanCare in 2013. Some of his opponents say the current administration, including Colyer, has poorly run the program. …

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How many billions of dollars does it cost taxpayers to keep Kansas and Missouri prisoners healthy?

Source: The Kansas City Star Editorial Board, February 1, 2018

On Monday, a Kansas legislative committee on corrections got answers to questions they should have been asking all along. Rep. J. Russell Jennings, Chairman of the Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice Oversight, called the hearing after The Star detailed the nearly $2 billion Missouri and Kansas will pay to Corizon Health over a decade to provide health care to inmates. Despite the cost to taxpayers, legislative oversight has been lax, particularly in Missouri. That needs to change. The Tennessee-based company has been sued more than 280 times by inmates in Missouri and Kansas, which should be a red flag for lawmakers. … At Jennings’ request, the Kansas Department of Corrections detailed how a University of Kansas Medical Center team conducts monthly reviews of the care being provided to the state’s approximately 9,800 inmates at a cost of about $68 million a year. … The committee learned that Corizon was penalized more than $1.7 million in 2017 for infractions, including failing to meet staffing or compliance standards for mental health treatment. Corizon has been sued 48 times in Kansas since 2014. So far, there have been no adjudications, settlements or findings against the state, the University of Kansas Medical Center or Corizon. … Missouri has been even less responsive. A state grant once paid a nursing professor to oversee the contract. But then Corizon was allowed to begin paying the fee. So the person who was scrutinizing Corizon was paid by Corizon. ….

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Kansas Task Force Hears That Some Issues With Foster Care System Aren’t New

Source: Madeline Fox, KCUR, December 13, 2017
Descriptions of an underfunded, under-resourced foster care system short on child placement options sounded familiar to Kansas lawmakers and child welfare advocates at a task force meeting this week.  But the events described Tuesday actually played out 30 years earlier, when a 1989 class-action lawsuit — alleging that the state’s foster care system violated the rights of Kansas children — raised issues that eventually led to the current privatized system.  Rochelle Chronister, former secretary of the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (now the Department for Children and Families), said she believes privatization of the foster care system in the late 1990s made sense although it was a tumultuous process. …


New DCF secretary dives into review of Kansas foster care programs
Source: Tim Carpenter, Topeka Capital-Journal, December 12, 2017
On Tuesday, the new secretary at the Kansas Department for Children and Families promised a legislative task force studying weakness in the state’s foster care system a thorough top-to-bottom review of internal and contracting operations with an emphasis on improving public transparency. … Meier-Hummel, who was a member of the task force when hired as secretary, on Dec. 1 took over an agency denounced for its response to problems in the foster care system. DCF is responsible for programs tied to children, as well as welfare.  For years, questions have been posed about whether DCF could do more to prevent deaths of children in contact with the agency. Meier-Hummel said the agency would review each fatality in search of lessons useful in avoiding future tragedy. …

For Kansas foster care task force, report of missing children latest concern
Source: Madeline Fox, Wyandotte Daily, October 12, 2017

The news that about 70 children are missing from the Kansas foster care system is the latest in a string of concerns for lawmakers and child welfare advocates. Concern for the safety of children, heavy caseloads for social workers and a lack of coordination in the system prompted lawmakers earlier this year to form the Child Welfare Task Force, which heard about the missing children during a meeting Tuesday in Topeka. The foster care system, overseen by the Kansas Department for Children and Families, was privatized 20 years ago after it failed court-ordered reviews. Care is now overseen by two contractors: St. Francis Community Services in western Kansas, and KVC Health Systems in eastern Kansas. …

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Kansas’s ravaged economy a cautionary tale as Trump plans huge tax cuts for rich

Source: Dominic Rushe, The Guardian, December 10, 2017
Is Donald Trump about to turn America into Kansas? It’s a question some worried people who live in the state are asking as the Republican party pushes through the biggest tax overhaul in a generation – an overhaul that, they claim, bears an uncanny resemblance to a tax plan that left their midwestern home in disarray. After a failed economic experiment meant to boost economic growth blew a hole in the Kansas budget as big as a prairie sky (a $350m deficit in the current fiscal year and nearly $600m in the next) state jobs and services have been slashed.

… Sarah LaFrenz Falk, president of the Kansas Organization of State Employees ,who recently spoke to Congress about her fears about the Republican tax plan, said she sees an agenda in the Brownback plan – one that is mirrored in Trump’s plan: give huge tax breaks to super-rich donors [the rightwing, union-bashing Koch brothers are Kansas’s richest residents], then hand them a second win by cutting services, waiting for those services to buckle under the strain and then argue the private sector can do it better. … Kansas has already had one horrific example of private enterprise failure. In October lawmakers were “flabbergasted” to learn that the companies that now run Kansan foster homes had “lost” more than 70 children. Revelations about the unaccounted children came after it was revealed children had been left to sleep in local contractors’ offices because there were no places for them. The state is currently looking to privatise its largest prison, at Lansing, near Kansas City. CoreCivic, the company overseeing construction of the new prison, is subject to lawsuits in six states and was accused by state officials of grossly under-staffing facilities in Tennessee. …

… The details of Trump’s tax plan are still being worked out, but it looks certain to pass, and the fixed positions are big corporate tax breaks and a massive reduction for pass-through entities. … The bill looks set to add $1tn to the national debt. Republicans are already discussing paying for the plan by cutting social security and gutting Medicare and Medicaid, the two federally funded health insurance schemes. But, worryingly for Trump, Brownback’s tax plan proved not just disastrous for the state but also for Brownback and his supporters. … Brownback’s plan led to electoral defeat for his supporters in 2016, and the election of moderate Republicans he had fought with to pass his plan. His political career is now in limbo. …

Secrecy inside child welfare system can kill: ‘God help the children of Kansas’

Source: Laura Bauer, Kansas City Star, November 12, 2017

… An agency charged with protecting kids instead focused on protecting itself. An agency where a former high-level DCF supervisor told The Star she was instructed not to document anything after a child’s death and to shred notes after meetings so attorneys and reporters couldn’t get them through open records requests. An agency where even lawmakers insist DCF officials are intentionally misleading them and providing information the Legislature can’t trust. In the end, Kansas children continue to die without a public review of what contact state social workers had with the families — whether they did enough and whether policies and procedures were followed. …

In a months-long investigation into the secrecy that permeates Kansas government and how it harms residents, The Star found a pervasive effort inside DCF to hide behind privacy laws and internal procedures to keep the public from knowing how it operates. Those practices are particularly acute in cases where children are seriously injured or killed by parents and guardians who were known to the agency. For the past year, DCF has refused to answer questions on topics ranging from open records and the death of specific children to runaways in foster care. During the course of The Star’s reporting on widespread problems within the agency, DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore announced her retirement effective Dec. 1. …


For Kansas foster care task force, report of missing children latest concern
Source: Madeline Fox, Wyandotte Daily, October 12, 2017

The news that about 70 children are missing from the Kansas foster care system is the latest in a string of concerns for lawmakers and child welfare advocates. Concern for the safety of children, heavy caseloads for social workers and a lack of coordination in the system prompted lawmakers earlier this year to form the Child Welfare Task Force, which heard about the missing children during a meeting Tuesday in Topeka. The foster care system, overseen by the Kansas Department for Children and Families, was privatized 20 years ago after it failed court-ordered reviews. Care is now overseen by two contractors: St. Francis Community Services in western Kansas, and KVC Health Systems in eastern Kansas. …

More than 70 foster children missing in Kansas
Source: Jonathan Shorman and Hunter Woodall, Wichita Eagle, October 10, 2017
More than 70 foster children are missing in Kansas, the companies running the state’s foster care system said Tuesday.  Lawmakers were concerned that Kansas Department for Children and Families Secretary Phyllis Gilmore appeared unaware that three sisters have been missing from a northeast Kansas foster home since Aug. 26.  Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, told a child welfare task force meeting that when she raised the missing children with DCF on Tuesday, the agency knew nothing. … KVC Kansas, one of the foster care contractors, said it has 38 missing children. The other company, Saint Francis Community Services, said 36 are missing in its system.  Chad Anderson, chief clinical officer at KVC Kansas, one of the contractors, told a child welfare task force that the number of missing represented about 1 percent of the foster care population and is in line with the national average.  Still, he acknowledged the contractor could do a better job. …

Kansas Lawmakers Advancing Bill for Oversight of Foster Care
Source: Associated Press, May 12, 2017

Kansas lawmakers have advanced a bill that would increase their oversight of the state’s privatized foster care system and the contractors running it.  The House gave first-round approval to the measure Friday on a voice vote. Members planned to take another vote to determine whether the proposal goes to the Senate.  The bill would create an 18-member task force to collect data from the state Department for Children and Families on the foster care system and its contractors and to make recommendations for improvement. …


Kansas House Committee Approves Foster Care Task Force
Source: Allison Kite, Associated Press, May 9, 2017
A House committee on Tuesday passed a bill that would allow Kansas lawmakers to more closely oversee the state’s privatized foster care system and the contractors that run it amid questions about how the state monitors the program.  The bill passed by the House Children and Seniors Committee would create an 18-member foster care task force to study the system.  The task force would collect data from the Kansas Department for Children and Families on the foster care system and its contractors and make recommendations for improvement. …

Audit finds problems in privatized foster care system, faults DCF for lax oversight
Source: Peter Hancock, Lawrence Journal World, April 28, 2017
The private nonprofit agencies that manage Kansas’ foster care system do not have the capacity in many parts of the state to handle the volume of cases they deal with, and the Kansas Department for Children and Families often does not conduct adequate oversight of those contractors.  Those are the findings of a Legislative Post Audit report on the foster care program that was delivered to lawmakers Friday.  However, auditors also said there would be enormous costs for the state if it decided to take back control and operation of the program itself. The report was the third and final part of a comprehensive audit that lawmakers ordered following two deaths in 2014 of children who were in the foster care system. …

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KOSE demands active shooter training following shooting at Dept of Revenue office

Source: Devon Fasibnder, KWCH, October 5, 2017
The Kansas Organization of State Employees is demanding active shooter training for all state employees following the shooting of Cortney Holloway at the Wichita Department of Revenue office.  The letter, written by KOSE President Lisa Ochs, demands a security review of all state government buildings, public or privately owned, to ensure all employees are protected.  “Sadly, all indications are that the private building that houses the Department of Revenue offices where Cortney Holloway was shot lacked security measures that might have prevented this incident,” the letter reads. … Though the shooting at the Department of Revenue office happened less than a month ago, the KOSE Union writes, “Long before this incident, state employees have felt vulnerable and KOSE members have complained to management that they fear for their safety. Nothing was done. Something must be done now.” …


Privatization Moved State Workers to Unsecured Office
Source: Associated Press, September 21, 2017
The head of Kansas’ state employees union and a local lawmaker say a push by Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration to privatize state office space left employees vulnerable during a shooting this week at a Department of Revenue office in Wichita.  The workers were moved three years ago out of the now-vacant Finney Office building, which had guards and security, to a strip mall office that provided no security, The Wichita Eagle reported. On Tuesday, tax compliance officer Cortney Holloway was shot. … Robert Choromanski, executive director of the Kansas Organization of State Employees, said the larger Finney building with armed guards likely would have deterred a shooting.  …

Privatization moved state workers to unsecured office where shooting occurred
Source: Dion Lefler, Wichita Eagle, September 20, 2017
Workers at the Wichita tax office where an employee was shot Tuesday were moved out of a secured state office building into an unsecured storefront about three years ago, as part of Gov. Sam Brownback’s program of privatizing office space.  A state senator and the head of the state employee union said they think Tuesday’s shooting probably would have been avoided had the Department of Revenue tax office still been housed in the now-vacant Finney State Office Building downtown instead of a strip mall at 21st and Amidon. … “I’m sure they would have been more secured at the Finney State Office Building,” said Robert Choromanski, executive director of the Kansas Organization of State Employees. “There were guards, there was protection.”  He said there was no protection Tuesday when tax compliance agent Cortney Holloway was shot at the Revenue Department office. …

KC Council picks Edgemoor team for KCI terminal job

Source: Rob Roberts, Kansas City Business Journal, September 21, 2017

A joint meeting of two Kansas City Council committees voted Thursday in favor of selecting a team led by Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate LLC to design, develop and arrange financing for a new airport terminal. … The committee’s decision comes after heavy lobbying and criticism by two other teams pursuing the roughly $1 billion project. … The airport ordinance calls for the city manager to begin negotiating a memorandum of understanding with Edgemoor. At the request of Councilman Jermaine Reed, it also spells out components of a community benefits agreement that must be part of the MOU, requires Edgemoor to institute a local hiring preference and requires negotiation of minority- and women-owned business and workforce participation goals that recognize “the transformative possibilities for disadvantaged businesses and workers that can result from a public infrastructure project of the magnitude of the proposed terminal modernization project.” …

Editorial: Seeking answers about a bungled state technology project

Source: Topeka Capital-Journal, December 13, 2016

At a time when our state faces a $350 million projected budget shortfall and a $580 million reduction in anticipated revenue next year, Kansans need to be especially critical of how the Brownback administration is spending money. This is why recent news of an expensive, botched attempt to modernize the state’s data technology is so frustrating — it was a $17 million failure. Phil Whittmer is the chief IT officer in Kansas, and he explained that the Executive Branch Technology Modernization project (the internal attempt to replace an IBM mainframe that handles data for four state agencies) was too costly to sustain. … In place of EBTM, the state negotiated a five-year, $14 million deal with a Chicago-based technology company called Ensono. According to the executive director of the Kansas Organization of State Employees, Rebecca Proctor, IT workers are worried about losing their jobs when the project moves out of state. Department of Administration spokesman John Milburn said a meeting about the outsourced project was held with IT workers two weeks ago, but he couldn’t say exactly what this would mean for their jobs: “It’s unclear at this time just exactly how many will be affected.” The Legislature commissioned an efficiency study from Alvarez and Marsal (released in January) that recommended “a comprehensive data center outsourcing initiative” that would include “all existing state-owned data centers.” The study’s authors say this could “generate between 15 and 25 percent in total savings or $960,000 to $1.6 million in annual savings.” While the concerns about outsourcing raised by state IT workers (lost jobs, taxpayer funds leaving Kansas, etc.) are valid and disconcerting, there are economic realities that can’t be avoided. … At this point, one thing seems certain: the EBTM mess is a worst-of-both-worlds scenario for Kansans. Not only will an important technology project be outsourced, but the state is $17 million poorer for no reason.


Brownback administration tight-lipped on $17m tech expense
Source: Celia Llopis-Jensen, Topeka Capital-Journal, December 11, 2016

The administration of Gov. Sam Brownback has refused to explain details of a $17 million expenditure on IT efforts that were later abandoned in favor of outsourcing. The Capital-Journal is seeking information about why the expenditure was approved, whether the state will be able to recoup it, and whether the state remains on the hook for more of the total project costs, which a recent report listed as $33 million. The Capital-Journal asked Department of Administration spokesperson John Milburn:

  • Whether the $17 million was spent on leasing fees.
  • Whether the equipment has been sitting in storage unused.
  • Why the administration decided in 2013 to pursue the project, then scrapped it as too expensive.
  • Whether the administration is concerned about the $17 million spent so far and the prospects for recouping it.
  • Whether Kansas is obligated to pay any more of the $33 million in project costs, such as for any ongoing fees.

“We have several alternatives in front of us that will allow us to recover some costs,” Milburn replied. “It is a complex technical issue that the team has been working through and some of those answers will become clear in the next three to six months.” The Governor’s Office didn’t answer similar questions. It deferred to Milburn. At issue is a now-sidelined effort to create a state-run platform that would replace an IBM mainframe in the Landon data center that serves four major state agencies. The initiative was called Executive Branch Technology Modernization (EBTM), or Kansas GovCloud.

Kansas poured $17m into tech solution before outsourcing instead
Source: Celia Llopis-Jensen, Topeka Capital-Journal, December 8, 2016

The administration of Gov. Sam Brownback spent $17 million on resolving technology needs in-house before abandoning the effort in favor of outsourcing to an out-of-state company. The state’s head of IT, who put the in-house Executive Branch Technology Modernization project on hold, says it was too expensive. … Kansas reached the five-year, $14 million deal with Ensono in September. State workers are on edge about potentially losing their jobs since being called to a meeting last week about the matter. Department of Administration spokesman John Milburn didn’t answer questions Thursday regarding why EBTM was initially approved, where the equipment for the project is being stored, and whether any of the $17 million can be recouped. Quarterly project reports produced by the Office of Information Technology Services indicate the EBTM plan — also dubbed Kansas GovCloud — was approved in September 2013, under a previous chief IT officer. The reports showed the project as active up to the first quarter of 2016, when it was listed as “on hold.” Estimated total expenses for the project and three years of operational costs were $32.75 million. The report said $16.95 million had been spent so far, and the project remained frozen “pending outcome of financial and scope reviews.” … For the Ensono contract, Wittmer told lawmakers Thursday his office considered bids from in-state companies. In total, the state received eight bids, but the in-state options fell short of the physical requirements and security needs. Wittmer said the primary location for Kansas’ data, once housed with Ensono, will be in the suburbs of Chicago, and the backup will be in Arkansas. The state’s current mainframe situation needed to be addressed, he said. Last Christmas, for example, a power outage brought down the state’s Landon data center, which includes the mainframe, for about a day. … Last January, an external state efficiency audit commissioned by the Legislature concluded that Kansas was spending $6.4 million annually on mainframe operation, including pay for the 40 full-time-equivalent IT employees who support it. The audit recommended outsourcing. …

Kansas inks deal to outsource IT to Chicago-area company
Source: Celia Llopis-Jensen, Topeka Capital-Journal, December 7, 2016

The state will retire a mainframe used by four major state agencies and contract with a private company in its stead, drawing concern from state employees about potential impending layoffs. The state has inked a five-year contract with Illinois-based Ensono for more than $14 million to replace an IBM mainframe, as recommended last January in a state efficiency review commissioned by the Legislature. The January efficiency study laid out several opportunities for IT-related savings across state agencies. … Rebecca Proctor, executive director of the Kansas Organization of State Employees, said she has heard concerns from IT workers who say they were called to a meeting last week to discuss the decision regarding the mainframe. IT workers are concerned they will lose their jobs, and that outsourcing these services sends taxpayer dollars out of state. One IT worker emailed Proctor following the meeting to say it appeared dozens of employees would be laid off. Milburn confirmed a meeting had taken place but said he does not have specifics about potential job cuts. … Asked about the concern that the contract with Ensono would send public money out of state, Milburn said state contracts are sometimes with in-state and sometimes with out-of-state companies. Proctor said the KOSE union hasn’t been informed of any layoff plan yet. The state has to notify the union at least 45 days in advance, she said. … The audit says the state operates a single IBM mainframe at an annual cost of $6.38 million, including $2.4 million in labor costs. About 40 full-time-equivalent IT employees support the mainframe, which serves the Department for Children and Families, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Revenue and the Department of Labor. “If bundled with a comprehensive data center outsourcing initiative,” the report says, “the state could generate between 15 and 25 percent in total savings or $960,000 to $1.6 million in annual savings.” The audit recommends considering contracts with private companies not just for the mainframe, but for “all existing state-owned data centers,” which includes servers and storage. The report says there are 60 full-time-equivalent public jobs supporting “the server, storage and data center environment,” representing $4.3 million in annual labor costs. …