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After $12 million and 4 years, upgrade of state office’s software a flop – News – The Columbus Dispatch

The office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine spent more than $12 million to replace the antiquated software it uses to help collect unpaid debts and taxes owed to the state.

But after four years of effort and ongoing problems, the new software still doesn’t work. It can’t import and read the data from the old system.

The software vendor, Ventech Solutions of Columbus, and the attorney general’s office now are squaring off in court over who is responsible for the multimillion-dollar flop.

Each accuses the other of breach of contract and making the mistakes that led to the failure of the software system to function.

A lawsuit filed by Ventech in the Ohio Court of Claims on July 21 denies wrongdoing and contends that DeWine’s office has “unclean hands” for its conduct and mistakes that led to the failure.

DeWine’s office filed a lawsuit a few hours later in Franklin County Common Pleas Court seeking the recovery of the $12 milion-plus it has paid, plus damages for Ventech’s “many failures.”

Ventech was awarded a contract by the attorney general’s office in December 2012 to customize off-the-shelf collections software to replace the existing 1996 system by June 30, 2016, according to court filings.

The attorney general agreed to pay an additional $731,000 to Ventech under amendments that gave the company more time to complete its work as it failed to meet completion deadlines, DeWine’s office claims.

On Oct. 31, 2016, DeWine’s office took its old software system offline based on Ventech’s representations that the new system was ready, his office says.

The new system failed to work, causing a “significant loss of revenue and various costs” because the old system was offline for days, leaving the state unable to collect money it was owed, the state’s lawsuit states.

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