UDATE: Propylon responded after the story had aired. This web posting has been updated.
Kansas lawmakers will be taking a deeper look into problems with a state software system. The state spent more than $14 million over several years on a system designed to help the Legislature draft bills and amendments. Senate President Susan Wagle says the system still isn't working right and that's causing unnecessary delays.
“We even had to delay debate on the Senate and House floor because we couldn’t get amendments. There were times we’d have to come back the next day. That’s just unheard of in the past,” says Wagle.
John Harrington is CEO of the software company Propylon, which provided the system. He says in a statement that the company successfully put the system in place in 2011 and since then it’s been in the hands of Statehouse IT staff. Harrington says his company has been providing support but they haven’t received reports of recent issues.
“I continue to work with the Legislature to understand whether their issues are software related, training related or process related. To date we have not been engaged to get the specifics but we are continuing to try to get the details from the Legislature,” says Harrington.
A committee will meet next month to start collecting information about problems with the system.
(Previous version of the story)
Kansas lawmakers will be studying problems with a state software system. A committee will be meeting next month to start collecting information about the issues. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, Kansas has spent more than $14 million on the program.
The system is behind the public website for the Kansas Legislature and connects all the various departments and staff in the Statehouse. It’s also used for drafting and distributing bills and amendments.
Senate President Susan Wagle says issues continue several years after the program was launched. She points to votes being delayed… and holdups in the Senate Tax Committee last session as they waited for amendments to be drafted.
“Every time we waited it was over six hours, and it wasn’t because the revisors couldn’t get it done, they could get it done. It was problems with the software,” says Wagle.
The software company, Propylon, did not respond to a request for comment. Propylon has been willing to continue working with legislative staff to fix issues, but that option would cost more taxpayer money.