By WPRO News and the Associated Press
Rhode Island has extended an agreement with Deloitte, the company that designed a computer system for state benefits programs and botched the rollout.
Governor Gina Raimondo said Friday that Deloitte will remain under contract through June 2021 to operate and maintain the system. She says as part of the agreement, Deloitte will pay Rhode Island $50 million and provide heavily discounted services, a total of $212 million in cash and discounts from the company.
“The approach I’ve taken has been to secure the biggest credit I could for taxpayers and make sure we had a system that’s functioning and will continue to function and be supported so that we can provide services for vulnerable Rhode Islanders,” she said.
— Tessa Roy (@Tessa_Roy) March 15, 2019
The state rolled out the system, which handles applications for food stamps, Medicaid and other benefits, in 2016 despite warnings from the federal government that it wasn’t ready. That resulted in a backlog of thousands of applications, but Raimondo says the state now has a functioning system.
Raimondo admitted there were times when she couldn’t imagine keeping Deloitte in charge and had even wanted to sue, but realized that could mean getting into years of expensive litigation. She also said securing a new vendor would have been difficult and costly.
“I don’t know if it would have been possible. It would have been enormously disruptive. We would have had to start from scratch, and years from now, we’d still be rebuilding the system,” she said.