Kansas trying to unload $10 million in computer equipment

December 22, 2018 GMT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer’s administration is seeking a way to donate or sell at a steep discount as much as $10 million in unused computer equipment that has been stored in a state office building since 2016.

The state still owes $2 million on the equipment, which it bought in 2016 as part of a failed plan to develop a centralized storage system, call Kansas GovCloud, for computer information. That idea was canceled by state IT officials who said it was too expensive. Instead, the state contracts with an outside company to store data on remote servers.


Attempts to sell the equipment failed to attract bidders, leading to discussions about finding someone to take the equipment before its value dropped to the level of scrap metal, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported .

Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, said the state allocated $17 million, including $10 million for the equipment, before dropping the storage idea. Selling it for pennies on the dollar or donating it to someone has merit, he said.

“The point is, equipment after a while just becomes obsolete. If somebody can use it, great. If you can get some money out of it, fine,” Holland said.

Sen. Caryn Tyson, R-Parker, said the failed storage cloud plan demonstrates the state’s short-sighted approach to IT.

“We keep changing our IT philosophy as a state. Knee-jerk reactions. We need an overall picture to understand the direction the state needs to go,” she said.

In a recent meeting, The Joint Committee on Information Technology discussed the possibility of drafting legislation requiring state agencies to disclose information to the committee about pending IT contracts. The committee wouldn’t have the power to block a proposed contract, but the information could be passed to House and Senate budget committees.

“I’m tired of watching re-occurring car crashes,” Holland said.

Sen. Mike Petersen, a Wichita Republican who chairs a House-Senate committee on IT security, said confidential audits of Kansas public universities and state agencies demonstrated shortcomings in IT security.

“It needs to be improved. We definitely need to focus on security-awareness training for all our state employees,” Petersen said.


Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com