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U.S. Government Takes 10 Years and Spends $1 Billion to Digitize a Single Form

U.S. Government Takes 10 Years and Spends $1 Billion to Digitize a Single Form

Heaving under mountains of paperwork, the government has spent more than $1 billion trying to replace its antiquated approach to managing immigration with a system of digitized records, online applications and a full suite of nearly 100 electronic forms.

A decade in, all that officials have to show for the effort is a single form that’s now available for online applications and a single type of fee that immigrants pay electronically. The 94 other forms can be filed only with paper. 

From the start, the initiative was mismanaged, the records and interviews show. Agency officials did not complete the basic plans for the computer system until nearly three years after the initial $500 million contract had been awarded to IBM, and the approach to adopting the technology was outdated before work on it began.

By 2012, officials at the Department of Homeland Security, which includes USCIS, were aware that the project was riddled with hundreds of critical software and other defects. But the agency nonetheless began to roll it out, in part because of pressure from Obama administration officials who considered it vital for their plans to overhaul the nation’s immigration policies, according to the internal documents and interviews.

– From the Washington Post article: A Decade Into a Project to Digitize U.S. Immigration Forms, Just 1 is Online  

Another day, another example of almost incomprehensible government incompetence and waste.

Just yesterday, I highlighted how the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) paid out $142 million in cash bonuses to employees immediately after the scandal that led to the death of at least 23 veterans waiting for care. It was just the latest example of how government bureaucrats are not only above the law, but are often actually rewarded for criminal incompetence.

Today’s article actually makes yesterday’s piece look minor in comparison. You can’t make this stuff up.

From the Washington Post:

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