Government Glitches: What Happens When IT Projects Fail
For the last 10 years, IEEE Spectrum has been covering the consequences of massive IT systems gone wrong. And many of the examples can be found within government. These include the U.S. Census Bureau’s expenditure of a couple billion dollars in order to return to paper forms after sinking hundreds of millions of dollars into handheld computers, and the accidental withdrawal of pension checks, which affected tens of thousands of retired New York teachers. Bob Charette, a contributing editor to IEEE Spectrum, is now reflecting on the cost and impact of these projects as part of the series “Lessons From a Decade of IT Failures.” He joins Ira Flatow to talk through some of the government’s IT misses and what can be done to improve the rate of success.
Bob Charette is a Contributing Editor with IEEE Spectrum. He’s based in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Becky Fogel is a newscast host and producer at Texas Standard, a daily news show broadcast by KUT in Austin, Texas. She was formerly Science Friday’s production assistant.