AP NEWS

Gov. Raimondo seeks $74M overhaul of state computer system

January 9, 2020 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo is seeking nearly $74 million to replace decades-old computer technology used by the state for basic government functions like payroll and day-to-day accounting.

As part her 2020-21 budget proposal, Raimondo will ask lawmakers next week for $1.5 million for use next year, with the remaining $72.5 stretched out over seven years, the Providence Journal reported.

The computer system will allow the government to move away from heavily paper-based processes — including paper time sheets, which are still used across Rhode Island state government, said Department of Administration spokeswoman Brenna McCabe.

A new system will also reduce money spent on supplies like ink, reduce contractor work, payroll errors and terminate existing licensing fees, among other efficiencies, the agency said.

There’s dwindling institutional knowledge of the existing system, said the state’s chief information officer, Bijay Kumar. He added that an overhaul is needed to attract new workers with a system that mirrors what’s being learned in school and used in other employment sectors.