- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 8, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia took major step on Tuesday in a project to consolidate all state agencies’ operations under one computer system.

The state launched the third phase of the project, called wvOASIS, which will allow agencies to use one system to manage accounts, personnel, and assets.

Todd Childers, director of the project’s third phase, said it will handle state government’s business operations, such as accounts payable and receivable, purchasing and investments.

About 3,400 state employees will be affected by the project’s third phase.

“No state has ever undertaken this full breadth of functionality in one project,” Childers told West Virginia Public Broadcasting (https://bit.ly/U1pHBh). “Usually you’ll do financials by themselves or the (human resources), payroll, time and labor as a project. We contracted to have all of it done all at one time.”

The project’s first phase, which was rolled out in August 2013, involved the system to put together the state budget. The second phase was designed for the Department of Transportation. The system is expected to be fully operational by July 2015.

When it’s completed, wvOASIS will replace nearly 100 administrative systems across state government, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said Tuesday in a news release.

The new computer system is expected to save the state $200 million to $300 million over seven years, Auditor Glen Gainer said in the release.

State employees received training to use the new system. But state officials expect some problems initially.

“Regardless of the training efforts and preparation for the transition to wvOASIS, there will be resistance, anger and frustration to change by some,” Lisa Comer, who leads the project’s Enterprise Readiness Team, told the Charleston Gazette ((https://bit.ly/1naQiHy). “We also anticipate some end users (state employees and vendors))may not have the access they need for various reasons.”

A “help desk” has been established to assist state employees and vendors as they learn to use the new system, Tracie Phillips, spokeswoman for the wvOASIS project, told the newspaper.

The state awarded a 10-year, $110 million contract for the project to Montreal-baesd CGI Group, which also developed Healthcare.gov, the federal health insurance exchange website that was plagued with problems when it launched last year.

Charles Lorensen, Tomblin’s chief of staff, said CGI does not typically do programs like Healthcare.gov. He told West Virginia Public Broadcasting that the company has put together similar multi-platform operating systems for Massachusetts and Alaska, New York City and LA County.


Information from: The Charleston Gazette, https://www.wvgazette.com

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