ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota lawmaker wants to restart the quest for software to streamline applications for health and welfare programs after a failed project that cost at least $41 million.

A bill before a Senate health panel Friday would direct the Minnesota Department of Human Services to find a contractor to develop software that would match applicants for health care, welfare and food stamps with the appropriate programs.

The bill from Republican Sen. Michelle Benson would require the agency to sign a contract by October.

It doesn’t say where the money would come from.

Three years ago, the department canceled a long-running software project called HealthMatch after multiple problems. On Wednesday, the agency said it will pay $7.25 million to settle a lawsuit with the software developer it fired.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (5)
  1. jimmy says:

    And why not Pawlenty’s buddies made millions off this. Why shouldn’t these Republicans join the gravy train.

    1. Richard says:


      Who was the company?

  2. lib says:

    The problem is that the Departent of Human Services doesn’t want this software. In reality I believe it would save much more that 41 million. They need to have someone else find a software company to take this on, whoever comes up with it, would be able to offer it nationwide. Also since the agency has to pay 7.25 mill to the software company you know something illegal was going on at the agency. An investigator should be appointed to follow the money and see where all the 41 million went.

  3. Richard says:

    I’d like to know more and then possibly bid the project. Who do I call?

    I’d like to know more specifics, like how what appears to be such a simple project, could possibly cost $41MM???

    Are you kidding me???

  4. Dilbert says:

    Richard – it is because they contract with companies that don’t see the big picture and try to fashion a system with the tools they bring – not the ones they need for the job.

    Like bringing your auto tools to the diesel locomotive shop. Your tools don’t work on the loco engines – so the answer is to replace the loco engines with a couple dozen v-6 engines. Oh, now they don’t fit. Well, just redesign the locomotive platform to use a dozen v-6 engines. And so it goes.

    Contracts are signed by people too high up to know the true needs of the project and buy into an off-the-shelf product that won’t work (the v-6 engine and bag of auto tools). They have no clue what a system looks like that runs 10,000 online transactions a minute and runs 24hrs a day for months on end.

    By the time you get a new locomotive platform design to use all those v-6 engines you’ll be lucky to be only $41 million over.

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