As the many bugs in the Affordable Care Act website have created a firestorm, other problems in state benefits websites have been equally troublesome.
State and local government CIOs interviewed for a recent special section on workforce told Government Technology that IT talent is in short supply. Baby Boomers are retiring en masse as the economy recovers, and the pipeline of new government IT staff is empty as Millennials -- turned away for six years as government cut workforce -- went elsewhere.
According to an article in The New York Times, it is lack of skilled government IT staff that's behind the well-publicized problems with state insurance exchanges, unemployment claims and food stamp benefit systems.
"A lack of funding in many states and a shortage of information technology specialists in public service jobs," said The Times, "routinely lead to higher costs, botched systems and infuriating technical problems that fall hardest on the poor, the jobless and the neediest."
So while vendors received much of the finger pointing, the actual cause could go much deeper, to a systemic lack of enough skilled technical and management staff in procurement, contract management, integration and other specialties.