More bailing on failed software

November 15, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

For over a year, Governor Robert Bentley repeatedly received warnings concerning the many technological and systematic failures under the leadership of Acting Finance Director, Bill Newton, and his assistant, Rex McDowell.

The time and attendance management system eSTART is just one of several software solutions to fail so badly; it had to be abandoned. A recent letter from State Health Officer Thomas M. Miller, M.D., informed the staff of the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), that eSTART would no longer be used to report time and attendance.
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Lawsuit Filed Over STAARS

July 22, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—A lawsuit was filed late Thursday night in Montgomery Circuit Court, over the $47 million dollar black hole known as STAARS.

At the heart of the complaint is the no-bid contract entered into by Governor Robert Bentley and the State Department of Finance. The suit brought by State Auditor Jim Zeigler, who is suing in his official capacity and as an individual, will go before Montgomery Circuit Judge William Shashy. In the complaint, Zeigler is also representing, “a class of all taxpayers whose taxes are funding payment for the illegal STAARS contract.”
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Is eSTART the New STAARS?

July 19, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Even though the shoddily implemented STAARS accounting software is still causing major headaches for agencies and vendors, the Department of Finances is doubling down on a troubled new time and attendance system named eSTART.

All agencies, major and minor, are reporting unanimously: eSTART doesn’t lives up to the hype.

eSTART is the State’s name for the Kronos time and attendance program that, according to the company’s website, “makes easy work of the tedious tasks involved with monitoring employee time and attendance… simplified time-tracking software — working in tandem with our data collection devices — helps you control labor costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity … without breaking a sweat.”
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Pallets of Phones Gather Dust Under Newton’s Orders

January 19, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Pallets stacked with expensive Cisco phones, perhaps representing millions in State tax dollars, sit silently gathering dust in a warehouse, because someone at the State Department of Finance thinks they have a better idea.

After reporting on the botched rollout of the STAARS accounting system, more than two-dozen confidential sources have reached out to alreporter.com alerting us to myriad problems inside the Finance Department. An open record request has been made to the department, now over a month old, as its legal counsel tries to stall for time.
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