SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The technology the state uses for its daily business is aging and in some cases, the original manufacturers or developers no longer exist.
That was some of the message delivered by Jeff Clines, the commissioner of the South Dakota Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT), at the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Appropriations meeting on Feb. 9.
Clines used an estimated $70 million for the Bureau of Finance Management’s (BFM) financial system as an example of how much upgrades are needed. The BFM is responsible for the financial work done at the state.
Committee member Republican Rep. Jim Bolin asked what would happen if the state decided to use that $70 million for nursing homes, would the BFM’s financial system eventually collapse?
“Simply, yes,” Clines said.
If the BIT budget was unlimited, Clines said it would take $250 million to $500 million to make all the needed upgrades. The Department of Social Services, Department of Labor and Regulation and other departments are all in need of technology upgrades.
Clines describe the state of existing technology by using a brittle list. When technology is described as brittle that means it’s in danger of failing, he said.
The state uses about 1,200 technology applications daily. Fifty-one percent, or 638, are brittle and at risk of failing.
Cline’s presentation on technology was information so the committee could not take any action.
The committee also took no action on House Bill 1020 to sell 5 1/2 acres of state land near the state men’s minimum security prison in Rapid City to Pennington County.
Department of Corrections (DOC) officials said Pennington County plans to build a jail on the 5 1/2 acres.
Republican Rep. Tim Reisch spoke against the sale. Reisch said he was not speaking as a legislator at the meeting but as an individual. Reisch was with the DOC when it bought the land under consideration for sale.
It was as difficult process as neighborhoods pushed back at the prospect of a prison being built near them, he said.
The state should not sell the land because it could be used in the future by the DOC for educational training, work training and similar, Reisch said. It was difficult to find land if such a facility is needed in the future, he said.
Brittni Skipper, the director of budget and finance for the DOC, said facilities such as Reisch mentioned could be built on the property but there is no plan for the DOC to use it.
The state is moving toward one-stop shops for services and parole offices, for example, could be located in those one-stop facilities, Skipper said. Also, inmates on work release got to jobs sites. Inmates enrolled in technical colleges go to the campus for those classes, she said.
HB1020 allows for the sale only to Pennington County. Skipper said if the sale does not go through the DOC would keep the land.