Minnesota Report

When government commenced the idea of bidding out government contracts to the lowest bidder and effectively privatized the system, they play into the Republican mantra of government being inefficient and ineffective. When systems like MNLARS and the vaccine rollout fail then media becomes an implicit actor advancing the failing of government, which, doesn’t really control what happens but is dependent on the vendor being able to produce and when that company fail government gets the blame. Its a self-fulfilling prophesy. The depths of the failure with MNLARS were well documented and because of legacy systems being patched over and the lack of redundancy or stress testing of the system provided the epic failures.

Similarly, when the vaccine system came online, knowledgeable people could look at the code and see there was merely a timing system working to regularly dial in to a contact portal, which was clearly unprepared to handle the volume of requests. The backlog of demand has now resulted in a lottery system, which will now enroll everyone, but doesn’t guarantee placement. Registration, could have been already been incorporated if a person’s driver’s license, state identification card or voter’s registration information were already used in the database. Then people could just identify that they wanted to receive the vaccine. Another point is if its only for 65 year enrollees then start the dropdown menu for age at 1957.

If one governmental system’s database were wisely used this hiccup could have been handled far differently. This is an IT system issue, if we had a state run, fully supported database integration process, if could have been handled efficiently and effectively.

Face it, Information Technology is not something that the state should sub-contract out but rather invest in. This should not be part of the procurement process.