Tunnel Rat posted on January 11, 2013 23:58

Happy New Year to All Insurgents! 

I've been away for awhile but I finally have time to add the first post of the new year.  Here's a horror story from a American techie writing on Dice:

An American In A All Foreign Department

I am currently on contract for mobility (iphone, android) at a client. My group  is supposed to be doing just project mngmt and architecture. In reality that have me doing business analysis, financial stuff like budgets, just about anything they decide to make us do. My boss is Indian and his boss is Indian as well.

That being said in my group I am the ONLY American out of 10 people and that includes my boss. In my larget department there is like 185 people and out of that maybe 20 are Americans.

Before everyone gets their butts in a knot just to clarify when I say Americans I dont mean white I mean people that were either born here or naturalized but this is their home.

This means white, black, asians, hispanics, whatever...

The first thing that became readily apparent is that I am not doing what they hired me for. I was hired for mobility not to be your donkey. So the $ being the $ and its fairly close to my house I have been sucking it up otherwise I would have left. All the people I work with are at best average. There are no Albert Einsteins or Von Brauns. These are people that for the most part have no idea what I am talking about 99% of the time. They all nod and smile but I know they have no idea what I am talking. For being so-called experts its a farce.

Now lets talk about the culture. The people dont speak English at all except when they have too. Hindi is the rule of the land. The only time they speak English is when speaking to me or getting on some conference call with other Americans. The people themselves for the most part keep to their own kind. For the first few months I was there I attempted to be friendly and say hello to everyone I met. That went nowhere fast, most of the time they would look at me like I was from another planet or just totally ignore me. So that ended.

Even when I am in the room they speak Hindi a lot of the time. I have been in meetings with my boss and they will literally walk into the room and start speaking Hindi to my boss who will reply to them in Hindi as well. Sometimes there is chucklinkg and I am just left out of it. They never let you forget for a second that you ar enot one of them. Around the area I sit all they speak is Hindi all day long.

The H1Bs and whatever else they are (L1, etc..) are very sensitive to the power quotient. I have noticed they spend an emormous amount of time buffing the Indian managers shoes. They all continually stop by to talk to the boss and stroke him. All are gushing all over him about this and that. And he treats them generally like gargage. Like in any clique there are preferred favorites and he makes no bones about showing that this one is the golden child.

I have had several altercations with my boss already with one just before the holidays of him screaming at me that I wasnt doing my job. When I explained what I did and why. Which had to do with the LAW and an audit trail he told me to just change the dates to make it work. I refused as my name would be on it. I told him if you want to sign it and be accountable than you do it. Because I am not doing it because if this is found out you can go to prison. I said NO. The argument got so vehement I thought it was going to come to fisticuffs. Since than I have been cordial and friendly to him but I do my job and thats it. You want to lie than you do it.

In general they seem to look down on anyone who is not Indian with women being the frequent target of harassment. I have had my boss yell at me and tell me not to challenge him even though he is wrong. I am supposed to bow down and kiss his feet. That wont be happening anytime soon.

Than we get to the real cruxt of the problem which is payola, bribes, graft, cronyism, whatever you want to call it. There is blatant corruption right out in the open. The Indian consulting companies continually visit my boss like every week. Almost always behind closed doors. Lets not kid ourselves about what goes on behind the closed door - $$. Thats what.

When the holidays came around they all brought all kinds of outlandish gifts. Apparently in this company its allowed. Some firms I have been in, gifts of any kind are prohibited. But here its open season.

This isnt the best part though, around the 1st of the month every month there is an endless parade of Indians into my bosses office. When I say endless I am talking about 25-30 H1Bs in the space of 2 days. They all go in, close the door and than come right out in less than 5 minutes. My friend told me that they are making their montly pay off to him, its probably $500 from each contractors paycheck. You can do the math 30 people x $500/month in cash is a nice stream of cash on the side.

After the hurricane my boss was moaning about how his house and cars were damaged. Than I found out he had a huge home, a giant BMW sedan and a Porsche SUV. So how does a guy who only makes like $120K afford all this. I am sure you can do the math.

The reality is the only reason they hired me is they wanted my mobility skills though they arent currently using them. Otherwise I would not have been hired. Any time an American leaves they are replaced with an Indian. I have seen it several times already. Its not a conjecture, its a fact.The Indians have all moved up the value chain. I am seeing Indian project/program managers, directors and vice presidents. 

American IT people wonder why they cant find jobs. Here is why? You have been frozen out. They take care of their own and you arent coming in. Thats the reality of the environment.

Welcome to employment in the 21st century.


THERE WILL BE RETRIBUTION


I have to admit that I was once what you would call a "right-wing wacko" and Paul Krugman was one of my favorite targets.  But like they say, a Democrat is a Republican who hasn't been raped, and a Republican is a Democrat who has not had their job outsourced/off-shored.  I'm have no loyalty to either party, and think both Dems and Republicans are sucking at the tit of the Indian Offshoring Regime and the High-Tech Junta. 

But one cannot argue with Krugman's statement:

Whenever you see some business person quoted complaining about how he or she can’t find workers with the necessary skills, ask what wage they’re offering. Almost always, it turns out that what said business person really wants is highly (and expensively) educated workers at a manual-labor wage. No wonder they come up short.

 

Listen up, you collaborators that like cheap, compliant, foreign scab labor.

THERE WILL BE RETRIBUTION


Tunnel Rat posted on October 28, 2012 02:07

Robert X. Cringlely has been covering IT for decades and has been critical of Indian Bowel Movement's (IBM) labor practices and ethnic cleansing of American techies.  Here he destroys many of the myths regarding the slumdog scabs and their (ab)use by the high-tech junta:

The H-1B visa program was created in 1990 to allow companies to bring skilled technical workers into the USA. It’s a non-immigrant visa and so has nothing at all to do with staying in the country, becoming a citizen, or starting a business. Big tech employers are constantly lobbying for increases in H-1B quotas citing their inability to find qualified US job applicants. Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates and other leaders from the IT industry have testified about this before Congress. Both major political parties embrace the H-1B program with varying levels of enthusiasm.

But Bill Gates is wrong. What he said to Congress may have been right for Microsoft but was wrong for America and can only lead to lower wages, lower employment, and a lower standard of living. This is a bigger deal than people understand: it’s the rebirth of industrial labor relations circa 1920. Our ignorance about the H-1B visa program is being used to unfairly limit wages and steal -- yes, steal -- jobs from US citizens...

http://betanews.com/2012/10/25/h-1b-visa-abuse-limits-wages-and-steals-us-jobs/

This article also his getting traction at Slashdot, and the many comments are revealing.

THERE WILL BE RETRIBUTION


Tunnel Rat posted on October 10, 2012 11:47

More bullshit, as usual, from the Punjab Pimp.  Of course, no mention of his use of cheap H-1Bs in his past life as a failed hi-tech scammer and vaporware peddler:

“The period of unprecedented expansion of immigrant-led entrepreneurship that characterized the 1980s and 1990s has come to a close,” writes an ominous new Kauffman Foundation report from Stanford researcher and Washington Post columnist, Vivek Wadhwa.

He and his team of researchers are finding that, despite being the source of venerable American businesses, from Carnegie to Google, immigrants no longer see the United States as the only land of dreams, driven in large part by Congress’s inability to enact high-skill friendly immigration reform. In the words of immigrant and President of Xerox’s Innovation Group Sophie Vandebroek, with whom Wadhwa spoke for his new book, Immigrant Exodus“Clearly the attraction the United States had on people like myself two to three decades ago is very different now. Countries all over the globe now have successful and growing research universities and labs.”

Yada-Yada-Yada...


Tunnel Rat posted on September 2, 2012 00:14

Rest assured, this happens EVERY DAY in corporate America...

Toyota sues programmer for 'sabotaging' computer network

By for Zero Day |August 30, 2012 -- 13:16 GMT (06:16 PDT)

Summary: Automaker Toyota alleges that one of its former programmers sabotaged web applications and security systems.

Automaker Toyota alleges that one of its former programmers sabotaged web applications and security systems, and has filed a lawsuit in reprisal.

Ibrahimshah Shahulhameed was fired last week by the corporation. In an Aug. 24 complaint, Toyota says that the former programmer sabotaged its computer systems at Toyota Motor Manufacturing.

The Indian contract programmer apparently attacked the system -- crashing it in the process -- and managed to download information that is "highly confidential".

The complaint was submitted to the U.S. District Court in Lexington. Toyota says within the lawsuit:

"If this information were disseminated to competitors or otherwise made public, it would be highly damaging to Toyota and its suppliers, causing immediate and irreparable damage. The worker had no authority to access or use Toyota's property or trade secrets and it is undisputed that he did access it and altered computer programs and codes."

After being dismissed for unacceptable behavior, Shahulhameed allegedly accessed the U.S. parts supply website portal toyotasupplier.com, manipulating 3 web applications and altering security certificates that caused system failure. After doing so, the programmer downloaded documents including pricing specs, parts and quality testing data. The company believes that if this data falls into third-party hands, it could cause irreparable harm.

The complaint says it will "take days for Toyota's IT department to determine the full extent of its damage as a result of th Defendant's efforts to sabotage its system."

The rapidly-filed lawsuit also includes a temporary restraining order issued from U.S. judge Karen Caldwell, banning the programmer from leaving the country while the investigation proceeds. Shahulhameed has also been ordered to hand over all of Toyota's property and data.

According to reports, the automaker's officials don't believe sensitive company material has been distributed. Toyota spokesman Rick Hesterberg said:

"We are and will continue to investigate this thoroughly, but currently we do not believe that any supplier data or proprietary information has been distributed."

- ZDNet

 

HERE'S MORE:

 

Judge stops ex-Toyota worker from leaving country

Updated 12:47 p.m., Monday, August 27, 2012

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered a former computer programmer for Toyota from leaving the United States while the company investigates the damage done by an alleged computer hacking incident.

U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell in Lexington also ordered Ibrahimshah Shahulhameed of Georgetown, Ky., to forfeit any information and data he took from the computer system of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Lexington, Toyota alleged that Shahulhameed illegally accessed the website www.toyotasupplier.com after being dismissed from his contract position on Thursday. The company claims Shahulhameed reset the website and computer system to automatically crash.

Rick Hesterberg, a Toyota Motor Manufacturing spokesman, said the company is still gathering facts in the case.

"This is an ongoing investigation involving a former contractor," Hesterberg told The Associated Press.

Efforts to locate Shahulhameed were not immediately successful Monday afternoon.

Shahulhameed worked on contract as a computer programmer for Toyota until being let go on Thursday. At that point, Toyota alleged, Shahulhameed, a native of India, accessed Toyota's internal computer system without authorization and copied, downloaded and possibly disseminated trade secrets and proprietary information. Included in that information was pricing information, quality testing data and parts testing data, Toyota's attorney, Mindy Barfield, wrote in the complaint.

"If this information were disseminated to competitors or otherwise made public, it would be highly damaging to Toyota, and its suppliers, causing immediate and irreparable damage," Barfield wrote.

Toyota claims that Shahulhameed spent more than six hours inside the computer system's firewall on Thursday and Friday. Toyota also said Shahulhameed reprogrammed at least 13 applications the computer system in an effort to cause it to crash.

Barfield wrote that Shahulhameed also removed critical security certifications on the company's internal server, causing the programs to become inoperable.

Barfield was unsure how long it would take for Toyota's technology department to repair the damage. The website www.toyotasupplier.com serves as a portal for current suppliers to Toyota, as well as a place for companies seeking to do business with Toyota to find information and work in a potential deal. As of Monday afternoon, the site appeared to be working.

"(Shahulhameed) had no authority to access or use Toyota's property or trade secrets and it is undisputed that he did access it and altered computer programs and codes," Barfield wrote.

Caldwell, in an order issued Saturday, barred Shahulhameed from traveling out of the country for 14 days. Caldwell noted that Shahulhameed had planned to leave the United States and return to India for an undetermined amount of time.

Shahulhameed was also required to post $2,500 bond, which he did Monday.

Toyota is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages from Shahulhameed.

 


Tunnel Rat posted on August 10, 2012 14:08

You can just start your investigating with this search.

I myself like to reference the NYT:

 

California: Company Faces 2nd Suit Over Visas

 

A new whistle-blower lawsuit has been filed against Infosys, the giant Indian outsourcing company, by a man who says he was harassed into quitting after he reported visa fraud by managers there. Satya Dev Tripuraneni, an American who worked for Infosys for five years in California, says the company billed fraudulently for workers brought from India on short-term visitor visas and also evaded taxes. After he reported his concerns, he was threatened and demoted, Mr. Tripuraneni claims in the lawsuit filed in federal court for the Northern District of California. Danielle D’Angelo, an Infosys spokeswoman, said the company had started an internal investigation of the claims. A trial in the case of Jay Palmer, another whistle-blower who reported suspected visa fraud at Infosys, begins Aug. 20 in Montgomery, Ala.


This complaint is horribly written and the case probably went nowhere.  I put in a call to the lawyer and he is supposed to call me back, but I doubt he will be much help.  But it does give you some insight into the hi-tech junta...

Quezada et. al. vs. Western Digital


Posted in:   Tags: , ,

Finally, somebody besides Don Tennant or Patrick Thibodeau is covering the looming Infosys trial:

 

Infosys Visa Fraud Trial Should Leave CIOs ‘Worried’

Infosys, the Indian IT outsourcing giant, is headed to court this month, to face allegations that it committed visa fraud to bring workers to the United States, and then tried to intimidate a whistleblower. Immigration and outsourcing experts say recent scrutiny facing the practice means CIOs need to be more vigilant when monitoring outsourcing firms who work onsite, or face harm to company reputation, and even legal consequences and the deportation of staff.

The civil suit, filed by a former consultant with the firm, alleges that Infosys improperly used short-term business travel documents, known as B1 visas, to bring Indian workers to the United States to work on client sites. The case will go to federal court in Alabama on August 20, after attempts at a settlement collapsed last week.

Jack Palmer, the former employee, claims he was asked to fill out paperwork for the employee travel visas, falsely representing the purposes of these trips as short visits for meetings. When he refused and reported the violations to the company’s corporate counsel, Palmer alleges Infosys managers retaliated by withholding bonuses and pulling him off job sites. Infosys also did not withhold federal or state taxes from these employees, the suit alleges. Infosys is now the target of a federal criminal investigation, probing its use of visitor visas, the company stated in a corporate filing in May.

“There is not and never has been a policy to use B1 visas to circumnavigate visa policies,” said Danielle D’Angelo, a spokeswoman for Infosys. “We have never retaliated against any employee and any allegations that say otherwise are simply not accurate.”

The practice of improperly using business travel visas is common for outsourcers that send workers to client sites, said Phil Fersht, CEO of HfS, an outsourcing research firm. The H1B work visa–the appropriate document for longer-term onsite work–costs companies thousands of dollars per employee and the federal government has reduced their availability in recent years. “Outsourcers are trying to get staff to work an engagement as quickly as possible and they will work the system as much as possible,” Fersht said.

CIOs contemplating the hiring of on-site outsourcers can expose their companies to grave reputational harm if they don’t ask the right questions, Fersht said. “They should be worried.”

Even if the client company has no knowledge of outsourcer visa policies, it can be named in legal actions surrounding the case, like numerous Fortune 500 companies named in the Infosys civil case documents. “I don’t think any American organization wants their name attached to foreign employees on incorrect visas, in widely publicized court battles,” Fersht said.

To avoid this reputational harm Fersht says CIOs should push outsourcers to ensure that workers brought into the office are on the correct visa. “They’ve got every right to validate the immigration status of every employee sitting in their office.”

James Nolan, a New York-based immigration attorney, says CIOs who use outsourcers could also find themselves in legal hot water if they help facilitate a visa under false pretenses. CIOs may be asked by a foreign outsourcer to provide the “welcome” document needed for a business travel visa, which states that an outsourced employee is coming into the country for a meeting or training. But if he knows the worker will actually do longer-term work onsite, he could be committing immigration fraud, Nolan said. “If it’s ongoing and systematic, they could be prosecuted,” he said.

CIOs who use outsourcers who are not aboveboard on immigration issues also risk being left with projects incomplete, if a crackdown leads to workers being deported, said Ben Trowbridge, CEO of Alsbridge, an outsourcing consulting firm. “If your provider has to have people sent back, an essential system can go down because of the disruption to the team,” Trowbridge said.

http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2012/08/01/infosys-visa-fraud-trial-should-leave-cios-worried/

 


Slumdog shill Vivek Wadhwa was once again talking about death threats and racist xenophobes in a panel discussion at the Brookings Institute.  Jared Bernstein gave him a rhetorical ass-kicking, and Fraudhwa was left mumbling about his nemesis Ron Hira and incoherently trivializing the ethnic cleansing of American workers at the hands of his Indian brethren.


Tunnel Rat posted on July 3, 2012 22:29

This pretty much says it all:

To fill the jobs, CSC recruited heavily in India – over half the staff, according to CSC workers who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of being fired. CSC did not respond to questions about foreign workers.

And this is pretty fuckin' absurd:

CSC celebrated the amended contract with an invitation to a July 28, 2011, picnic at Umstead Park: “Please plan to join us for BBQ and Indian Cuisine! It will be a great time to get to know your co-workers as well (as key CSC and DHHS) executives. You might even have the chance to challenge them to a game of bean bag toss or horseshoes!”

WTF? 

Costs soar for updating NC's Medicaid computer system

- jneff@newsobserver.com
Trouble in New York

In 1998, the state of New York hired Computer Services Corporation to design and run a new processing system. The new system came on line in 2005, 33 months late and $166 million over budget, a cost overrun of 47 percent. The state comptroller blamed the delay and cost overrun on both CSC and the state Department of Health.

As it built the new system, CSC was also operating the old claims system. The dual roles meant the state was paying CSC for both jobs, giving the company little incentive to bring the new system in a timely manner, according to the comptroller’s office.

The comptroller also found that the system was not based on the best technology available at the time and was unable to make timely changes when state or federal laws changed. The problems in New York were not solely the fault of CSC. The comptroller found that the Department of Health provided ineffective oversight and missed opportunities to levy penalties allowed under the contract. The department didn’t have a contingency plan in place, and when it came time in 2006 to negotiate an extension, CSC demanded a three-year extension at a cost increase of 62 percent. The comptroller initially opposed the new contract but relented when CSC said it would stop processing claims.

 

[THIS LOOKS LIKE A TARGET RICH ENVIRONMENT]

 

MEDICAID.NE.061312.TEL

People walk to and from the employee parking lot during lunch hour at CSC in Raleigh. CSC holds the biggest contract in state history, a half-billion effort to replace the state's antiquated Medicaid claims program. The computer system is years behind schedule, with hundreds of millions in cost overruns.

RALEIGH In a bland office park off Lake Boone Trail, two computer teams toil away on behalf of the biggest contract in state history – the computer system that processes 88 million Medicaid claims each year.

The 500-plus team of workers from Computer Sciences Corporation, a tech company from northern Virginia, is working to finish the new system by next summer. Upstairs, 200 workers from Hewlett Packard, the technology giant from California, keeps the old 1980s-era system running, receiving, auditing and paying about 250,000 claims each day.

The project has gone in fits and starts since it began in 2004: cancelled and rebid, then amended and extended. Costs have kept rising, so much so that the expense of setting up the new system and running it for seven years, plus maintaining the old system, now adds up to an eye-popping figure: $851 million.

And that’s if it goes on line next summer, as scheduled.

Little in this project has gone as scheduled. The first contractor was dismissed, only $16 million into the work. The second, CSC, is two years behind its original timeline. In the world of information technology, the delays and overruns earn it the title of a “black swan” project.

Most of the delays and cost increases come from changes in federal and state laws and regulations, according to Al Delia, secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services. He likened it to a home construction project where the owner asks the builder to add a second floor and garage midstream.

“Most of what have been called cost overruns aren’t really cost overruns,” Delia said.

In the long run, state officials say, the new system has the potential to save the state hundreds of millions of dollars. Along with processing claims for Medicaid – the government health care plan for the poor and disabled – the contract requires the system to be able to process claims from other payers, such as the State Health Plan or the state prison system.

“We expect this will be cutting edge, state of the art,” Delia said.

If so, it will be an unusual cutting-edge system: it’s largely written in COBOL, a computer language developed in the 1950s that is scarcely taught in North Carolina – just community colleges in Hickory and Charlotte. CSC has imported workers from India to fill the jobs in Raleigh.

Legislators wonder if state officials will ever be able to get the project finished.

“The $640 million question is, will the Medicaid system operate as billed?” asked state Rep. Nelson Dollar, a Cary Republican who co-chairs a committee that oversees DHHS. “We are skeptical until we see it.”

CSC declined to answer questions, but released a statement saying the project would be completed on time and within budget: “This new system will enable the State to better manage costs, improve healthcare administrative efficiency and enhance customer service for healthcare providers and recipients.... We are focused on delivering a high performance healthcare system that meets the specific needs of North Carolina and its constituents.”

High hopes

In 2003, the state solicited bids to replace the outmoded Medicaid claims system, which had been operated for 35 years by EDS, a Texas company later purchased by Hewlett Packard. Millions of lines of computer code power the program, which accepts claims from some 70,000 providers – doctors, clinics, hospitals, nursing homes and others.

It’s a big business: the Medicaid program will cost nearly $13 billion in North Carolina this year, about 23 percent from state funds and the rest federal. The new system is designed to detect fraud and avoid waste.

Federal tax dollars pay for 90 percent of the design of the new program and half of its operating costs.

There were high hopes in 2004 when the state gave the $171 million contract to Affiliated Computer Systems to replace the 1980s system.

The project “continues to forge ahead with great expectations,” according to a 2005 letter from Angeline Sligh, the director of the project. “It is our goal that this be one of the best replacement implementations in the nation.”

The project soon fell behind, with DHHS officials and ACS arguing over timeline and payments, each blaming the other for the mess. In May 2006, State Chief Information Officer George Bakolia threatened to kill the project unless the two sides could resolve their differences and come up with workable plan. Bakolia demanded new project managers at DHHS and ACS.

In July 2006, the state cancelled the contract, and eventually paid ACS $16.5 million, partly for work, partly to settle a lawsuit.

The state replaced its project managers, who run the program day to day. Their supervisors – Sligh and her boss, Assistant Secretary for Finance Dan Stewart – remained on the job.

An extension, a picnic

Round two began in 2008, when the state awarded a $265 million contract to CSC, with a go-live date of August 2011.

The contract sparked a fierce fight. HP, which runs the 1980s system, was a bidder on the new contract and protested on technical and political grounds: CSC had retained former DHHS Deputy Secretary Lanier Cansler as a lobbyist. Weeks after the contract award, Cansler was named DHHS secretary by Gov. Bev Perdue.

Stewart denied the protest.

In its bid documents, CSC estimated that 90 percent of the millions of lines of computer code needed could be copied from its New York Medicaid program. CSC later revised that to 73 percent; in the end, because of big differences between the New York and North Carolina Medicaid programs, only 32 percent of the New York code was used.

The program soon fell behind, and in the summer of 2010 CSC asked for an extension. Following a lengthy negotiation, the state granted an 18- to 22-month extension and raised the contract price to $495 million.

CSC celebrated the amended contract with an invitation to a July 28, 2011, picnic at Umstead Park: “Please plan to join us for BBQ and Indian Cuisine! It will be a great time to get to know your co-workers as well (as key CSC and DHHS) executives. You might even have the chance to challenge them to a game of bean bag toss or horseshoes!”

Delia, who became DHHS secretary in February, says CSC added six months of delay by overestimating how much code it could bring from New York. The company agreed to pay the state $10 million in damages, an amount criticized as unsubstantiated and low in a subsequent state audit.

The rest of the delay, Delia said, stems from changes in federal and state laws and regulations, and was out of the control of DHHS.

A January report from State Auditor Beth Wood questioned the six-month figure, saying that DHHS did a poor job of documenting how it made key decisions: determining the six-month delay; calculating the damages owed by CSC; and tracking $30 million in unauthorized changes that CSC made in the program.

The audit was contentious from the start. Stewart told Wood that his staff was too busy to answer questions and provide documents. Their cooperation “will, by necessity, be minimal due to the lack of staff time, the urgency to complete the project and the liability related to delaying the IT contractors working on the project.”

The department’s response, twice as long as the audit, disagreed with virtually every paragraph, calling the audit biased, inaccurate, unproductive, ill-informed, unfounded and asinine.

Wood called the audit the most difficult of her career.

“It was the most uncooperative, dragging-the-feet, missing-deadlines audit like I’ve never seen,” she said.

During a hearing in January, legislators looking into the project asked Angie Sligh to grade her management of the contract. She gave herself an A.

Writing in COBOL

The audit did not touch on the fact that the state contracted in 2008 for a program written in COBOL, a computer language written in the 1950s. According to Bakolia, the former state chief information officer, COBOL is used in banking, transportation and federal systems that have been in use for decades, but it is almost never used in new systems.

“If the programs are written well and operate, companies don’t want to rewrite them,” Bakolia said. “If I were to write something today, it would not be COBOL. You can’t support it.”

In North Carolina, classes in COBOL are as popular as 8-track tapes. Wake Tech’s extensive computer science offerings don’t have COBOL, and neither does N.C. State.

Frank Mueller, an N.C. State computer science professor, said the supply of COBOL programmers is dwindling as people retire.

“As a consultant to any company, I would probably advise them against using COBOL,” Mueller said. “The problem is that it’s harder to find someone to change the code. If you change the law, you have to change the code.”

Asked about COBOL in an interview Thursday, Stewart said: “This is the first time I’ve ever heard that question raised.”

To fill the jobs, CSC recruited heavily in India – over half the staff, according to CSC workers who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of being fired. CSC did not respond to questions about foreign workers.

Stewart said he had no idea about the staff makeup.

“I have never seen their staff,” he said.

Delia said it is not an issue.

“It’s a private company, we have no way of knowing,” Delia said. “They are legal workers, it’s kind of a non-question.”

After working through a tough audit, firing a contractor and enduring multiple extensions, state officials have now turned their attention to another participant in the project: their own watchdog.

They are threatening to fire Maximus Inc., the Virginia firm paid to police the project for the state. Maximus, nearing the end of a three-year contract, is paid $1 million a year.

Neff: 919-829-4516

http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/06/17/2142627/state-contract-for-updating-computer.html


Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/06/17/2142627/state-contract-for-updating-computer.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/06/17/2142627/state-contract-for-updating-computer.html#storylink=cpy


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