Wide Open Outsourcing in the State of Virginia

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    Can the state of Virginia exorcise the curse? That’s what this article by William Welsh in Washington Technology asks. The curse, of course, is the one suffered by states that try to transform themselves through vast outsourcing deals –including Florida, Georgia and Connecticut — which never come to fruition.

    Virginia’s trying a few different things. For one, it’s built room into the bid process to give contenders more room to “propose creative ideas and solutions.”

    Another difference: There’s continuity at the oversight level. According to the article, “The Virginia Information Technologies Agency…is overseen by an Information Technology Investment Board. Board members serve four-year terms, and they appoint a state CIO, who serves a five-year term. Current board members and the CIO will serve in their positions well after [governor John] Warner leaves office Dec. 31.” That period spans across a single governor’s term.

    Also, “Virginia is requiring companies competing for each project component to work side by side during the due diligence phase… The state also has shunned one-on-one meetings with any of the bidders.”

    The article, which also includes a brief timeline of the projects, is worth a quick scan if you’re in government work.

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