Florida child welfare data system is delayed, over budget

Florida child welfare data system is delayed, over budget

Delivery of a Florida Children and Family Services Department data collection system that has been under development since 1994 has been delayed until 2005, and its costs have ballooned by $42.1 million to $252.6 million, according to a state auditor's report released Monday.

The HomeSafenet system is a management information system mandated by federal law to manage child welfare data. It will replace six legacy systems in the department and various manual procedures, according to a report issued by auditor general William O. Monroe.

The auditors disclose that HomeSafenet development has been prolonged by delays in receiving federal approval, unsuccessful procurement attempts, development strategy changes, function changes, system architecture changes, poor productivity and management turnover.

In 1999, the department rejected as too expensive a vendor proposal to develop the system in less than six years at a cost of $53.9 million, the auditors reported.

The auditors found that the department had improved project management and was on track to deliver a system that would meet federal and state requirements. But the auditors expressed doubt that HomeSafenet would be ready by June 2005 as planned.

The department largely concurred with the findings of the audit, and said it was reviewing its cost and schedule estimates.

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