Mar 132013
 March 13, 2013  Posted by  Business, Govt

What’s that old adage that if something looks too good to be true….? Jordan Schrader reports:

State government plans to outsource the operation of its main face on the Internet to a private company that it says can run the Access Washington website at no cost to state taxpayers.

Kansas-based NIC Inc. will, of course, recoup its expenses – along with a profit – for running the Web portal and other “e-government” services for the state. But the money will come from transaction fees on businesses that, for example, want information about vehicle licenses.

“Under this model, there is essentially no cost to the state,” Gov. Jay Inslee’s budget director, David Schumacher, wrote in a March 5 letter giving the Department of Enterprise Services the go-ahead to award a contract to NIC.

Separately, the letter also allows contracts with at least two companies, possibly along with NIC and a fourth company, that state agencies can choose to design their own websites. The estimated savings to the next two-year, more than $31 billion state budget: at least $1.8 million.

Read more on The Olympian.

I hope they have a really detailed section on data security and privacy obligations in any contract and that any firm used runs really good criminal background checks on its employees.  As the reader who submitted this link wrote to me:

This information is already available widely from states, but it seems to me that the more parties we allow to handle such information expands the opportunities for abuse of such information. At least when the state holds it the data is often unrelated and in several databases across departments. Some call that inefficient and to an extent, it is. However, it also assists in safeguarding my privacy. Handing this data over from several departments under one roof resolves the efficiency dilemma and adds a new level of data insecurity to the mix.

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