The state will spend an addition $610,000 in its quest to fix the problem prone Tennessee Family and Child Tracking System (TFACTS) after the Fiscal Review Joint Committee approved a contract extension with Compuware on Monday.
Compuware is an outside contractor that's been working with the Department of Children Services for several months.
TFACTS has a long list of problems within the system. It is meant to track payments to foster families and be the main source of case information for DCS employees.
Since its implementation in 2010, the $27 million system has not worked properly causing complaints of missed payments to foster families and thousands of error codes every day.
“Compuware has a unique knowledge of this system,” DCS Deputy Commissioner of Finance and Information Technology Lee Gregory told the joint committee.
Gregory said the six month contract extension would allow Compuware and DCS to fix all of the fiscal problems that plague TFACTS.
Representative Sherry Jones, D-Nashville, does not sit on the joint committee. But, she has been vocal about her concerns surrounding TFACTS.
“We knew when this system was implemented in the beginning that it had not worked for many states,” she said by phone. “The question becomes, how much money is it going to take to save this system?”
She continued, “It hasn't worked for a number of other states anyway.”
Jones has called for DCS Commissioner Kate O'Day to resign.
O'Day was not the DCS Commissioner when TFACTS was purchased or implemented.
Since taking office she hired deputy commissioner Gregory to lead the efforts to fix TFACTS.
“I don't think its ever going to be ready,” Jones said. “I don't think they know what to do to make it ready and we ought to just cut our losses because it is not working for anybody.”
O'Day said in a previous interview with Nashville's News 2 that TFACTS is working.
She also said a plan is in place to not only address issues with the system, but also make it more effective for DCS workers who rely on it everyday.
- Nov. 7, 2012: DCS Commissioner promises improvements inside department
- Oct. 4, 2012: Officials meet to discuss deaths of 31 children in DCS care
- Oct. 3, 2012: Governor: No indication agency mishandled cases
- Sept. 22, 2012:Haslam reviewing data on child deaths
- Sept. 21, 2012: DCS: 31 children it investigated died this year
- Sept. 12, 2012: Lawmaker demands answers from DCS commissioner