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COMPTROLLER'S COMPLAINT AGAINST IBM OVER DISPUTED $19 MILLION COMPUTER PROJECT PROMPTS INVESTIGATION BY ATTORNEY GENERAL

Contact: Steve Jensen
860-702-3308/3301

A complaint by State Comptroller Nancy Wyman that IBM was paid nearly $19 million for a state computer project it never finished has prompted the Attorney General to further investigate what went wrong.

On Sept. 9, Wyman asked the Attorney General to consider taking legal action against IBM to recover $18.9 million it was paid to replace the Department of Labor's computer mainframe and implement a new system to process unemployment insurance claims.

In a letter to Wyman dated Sept. 18, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said he was "acutely troubled" that Connecticut paid IBM although the company never completed the work.

"I am encouraged that my complaint on behalf of the taxpayers of Connecticut will be pursued," Wyman said today. "Hopefully, this will lead to the state getting back millions of dollars it paid for a product it never received."

Wyman's complaint followed the release of an independent legislative report that said the project was abandoned in 1996, leaving the labor department with computer hardware it cannot use and a software system that will take about 36,000 work hours to finish.

In his letter to Wyman, Blumenthal said he has asked labor department Commissioner James Butler to provide him with a detailed analysis of IBM's performance on the project so that he can "determine who may be held legally responsible for the various failures."

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For Immediate Release
September 22, 1998

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