When Brownlee was appointed to head the state’s Department of Labor under new Republican governor Sam Brownback in 2011, she was tasked with cleaning up Sebelius’ technical mess.
“When I walked in the door at Labor [the computer update] was half-done. There were about 240 errors in work-around. It was not functional,” Brownlee said.
“The agency was spending more than $1 million per month on contractors and other things. So as soon as we found out how much was going out per month we had to shut that down. That wasn’t workable,” Brownlee said. “In the private sector, that would never be acceptable.”…
“The computer [program update] was supposed to help deliver unemployment insurance benefits, which is critical, obviously, during a recession, because unemployment was much higher at the time. But the agency kept hiring more people because the computer system didn’t work. The Obama administration provided the money to fund it, and the money ended when I got there so we had to downsize considerably,” Brownlee said. ”I brought in a consultant who fixed everything so that what we had was somewhat usable.”