According to reports in the IBJ and elsewhere, the trial pitting IBM against the State of the Indiana is winding down. At issue are cross-claims about the reasons for and propriety of the termination of IBM’s contract to provide welfare intake services.
According to the IBJ, IBM’s lawyer argued that the real reason for the termination was state budgetary woes. The State’s lawyers defended the termination by complaining that “IBM was more concerned about profit than getting assistance to needy people.”
And the sun rises in the east….
Those of us who study outsourcing have repeatedly made the point that–while contracting can be a useful tool in many circumstances–it is not appropriate in areas where government is providing essential services to vulnerable populations. Despite lots of irresponsible rhetoric to the contrary, government is not a business. It’s purposes and aims are different. Private, for-profit organizations have a duty to shareholders; government agencies have obligations to citizens.
Evidently, this essential distinction escaped the notice of the Daniels Administration, which is now shocked–shocked to discover that a business would prioritize the pursuit of profit.
In other breaking news, it appears that rain is wet.