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At Governor Pat McCrory's first press conference a few weeks ago, the governor mentioned that state computer systems are "broken" or not working. While in reality state computers must be working but the governor's choice of words and emphasis that Information Technology - or computer systems - are his number one, on-the-job, concern makes a discussion of state computers a huge topic of discussion. When state leaders say the computer systems (the big ones serving programs like Medicaid and food stamps) aren't working, it's so cryptic because no one, not even the state's computer experts, seem to be 100% sure of what will work when some new computers come online and the "old" computers, currently in operation, are permanently taken offline.
Ricky Diaz over at the governor's press office helped me coordinate an interview with Chris Estes, Governor McCrory's handpicked Chief Information Officer for the State of North Carolina. Mr. Estes received a 2013 audit, released by State Auditor Beth Wood, that shows state computer IT leaders can't tell legislators if the efficiency measures being taken in state agencies, in terms of consolidating computer services and improving customer service, have worked. It's a big unknown factor to hear state officials tell it. I wanted to hear what was happening, read the audit and then get some better understanding of the written content. So, along with Chris Estes, I interviewed State Auditor Beth Wood (thanks to Bill Holmes for setting it up). It's not a front burner topic for most North Carolinians...it's computers....but when you go to a government office and they don't work, you realize it. Check out these interviews.
Below is my interview with Chief Information Officer Chris Estes