State Senator Troubled by Results of MNIT Survey

April 11, 2018 10:44 PM

State Senator Julie Rosen, R-Vernon Center, tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that she sent a survey to nine separate state boards and commissions asking them to evaluate the services provided by the Minnesota IT Services (MNIT).

She said the results were surprising, with eight of the nine boards and commissions reporting they had trouble with MNIT's billing.

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RELATED: Lawmakers, MNIT Officials to Meet, Discuss Oversight Concerns

And, in some cases, with the agency's customer service as well.

"We found billings that were inconsistent," Rosen said. "We found billings that were wrong. They were late. The invoices were constantly off and I am very troubled by some of the things we had to find out."

Rosen did not reveal the names of the boards and commissions. But she did cite some examples from the survey which she said show a consistent thread of issues with MNIT services.

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"One board reported MNIT overbilled one of its vendors by approximately $30,000," Rosen said. 

"That same board reported when the error was found, and the money returned to the board, it sat in their office's safe for three months because MNIT staff did not know how to process the refund."

Rosen said the names of the boards and commissions that responded to her survey will be made public. But she wanted to give MNIT an opportunity to review the surveys and provide their response first.

RELATED: State IT Dept's Spending Raises Lawmaker Eyebrows in Light of MNLARS Issues

Rosen said she and legislative auditor James Nobles are now sending the same survey to six of the state's largest agencies to see if they are satisfied with MNIT's billing practices and customer service.

"There was a general lack of communication found in our first survey with the boards and commissions," Rosen said. 

"We found dissatisfaction over and over again in these replies. And, very basically, poor customer service.

RELATED: IT Manager Blamed for MNLARS Mess Testifies

KSTP reached out to MNIT for a response. The agency said it was reviewing Rosen's information and would be reaching out to the boards and commissions to fix any problems that might still be occurring.

Rosen said she intends to ask MNIT for a response to the surveys at the Thursday meeting of the Finance Committee.

She chairs that committee.

Credits

Jay Kolls

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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