OCSEA is raising public awareness about an ugly truth in Ohio.
Gov. John Kasich’s administration is outsourcing more and more of the state’s information technology (IT) work to outside consultants and contractors, saddling taxpayers with bigger and bigger bills in the process.
The cost of IT services provided by these outsiders has more than doubled since Kasich took office in 2010. As reported recently in The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio now shells out $452 million a year on IT “personal services” compared to $207 million in 2011-2012, with some of those contracts going to companies that employ those who used to work for the state as IT executives.
OCSEA argues that state employees could do the job at a fraction of the cost.
“It’s cheaper to hire state employees,” Jim Benedict, a systems administrator for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and an OCSEA steward, told the newspaper. “The companies are billing many of those people out at a minimum of $100 an hour, and many of them are much more than that.”
Benedict went on to say, “They are definitely costing more than a state worker would and they are not doing anything different than a state worker.”
Benedict told the Dispatch that his agency had 540 IT employees in 2008. Now, there are fewer than 300.
“When I first started here, we were getting rid of contractors. Now, it is swinging back the other way,” he said. “There’s no reason for them to be contracting that work. We’ve made that point to management many times, and it’s fallen on deaf ears.”