How STAARS Fell on Alabama

By Bill Britt and Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The revelation first reported by the Alabama Political Reporter, that a $47-million-dollar software package known as STAARS caused a meltdown in the State’s ability to pay its bills in a timely fashion, or properly process inter-agency payments, leaving hundreds of millions of dollars in a software limbo, has raised questions about how the contract was awarded.

Acting State Finance Director Bill Newton, and his Chief Legal counsel, Richard Cater, have stated STAARS, as supplied by the Canadian software giant, CGI.com, is simply an upgrade of software purchased in 1982. Therefore, they did not have to put it out for bid.
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How STAARS Fell on Alabama

By Bill Britt and Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The revelation first reported by the Alabama Political Reporter, that a $47-million-dollar software package known as STAARS caused a meltdown in the State’s ability to pay its bills in a timely fashion, or properly process inter-agency payments, leaving hundreds of millions of dollars in a software limbo, has raised questions about how the contract was awarded.

Acting State Finance Director Bill Newton, and his Chief Legal counsel, Richard Cater, have stated STAARS, as supplied by the Canadian software giant, CGI.com, is simply an upgrade of software purchased in 1982. Therefore, they did not have to put it out for bid.
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Department Of Labor Counsel Stressed Over STAARS, AlaCourt

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY— Joseph S. Ammons, General Counsel for the Alabama Department Of Labor, sent an email just before noon on Tuesday to other agency lawyers expressing concern over the State’s failure to pay AlaCourt. He also requested to know if other departments were being required by the Finance Department to justify its use of the online system.

(See Letter Here.)

AlaCourt is used throughout the State to file legal documents and search cases before State court.
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Finance Spending Millions Per Year on New Time and Attendance System

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Not only has the State Department of Finance spent $47 million on this “failure-to-pay” software at the insistence of Director Bill Newton and his assistant Rex McDowell, but over the last two fiscal years, the State has spend nearly $8 million for an employee time log-in system, which just a few years ago was called a time clock.

In Fiscal Year 2015, alone, the State spent a total of $4,074,027.51 on this system.
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