Skip to comments.(CT)DOL retirements jeopardize unemployment checks?
Posted on 02/23/2012 5:48:27 PM PST by matt04
Without two key information technology workers who retired last fall, the state Department of Labor might not be able to adapt its computer system to new unemployment benefit extension requirements in time to get checks out to state residents, an agency official said Thursday.
The department wants to hire back the two retirees, but can't legally do so, according to an advisory opinion adopted by the Citizen's Ethics Advisory Board Thursday.
The board's move also affects the state Department of Social Services, which has already hired back three IT retirees who Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby said are critical to maintaining the system of databases needed to administer programs serving more than 650,000 people.
Ethics board members expressed sympathy for department officials, who argued that critical state services would be in jeopardy without the ability to hire back recent retirees with specialized knowledge of mainframe computer systems they spent decades tweaking and adapting.
But board members suggested that the problems could be solved under Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's authority, rather than by overturning previous ethics cases and potentially complicating enforcement of violations in similar situations.
(Excerpt) Read more at ctmirror.org ...
Chances are, they would also not be dumb enough to have critical operations rely on two people with no continuity plan, should someone leave, get sick, etc.
“...would be in jeopardy without the ability to hire back recent retirees with specialized knowledge of mainframe computer systems they spent decades tweaking and adapting.”
COBOL programmers are hard to come by.
When these three guys took the job, they thought they were going to be administering Unix databases. It was not until they awoke from their "pre-employment physicals" that they learned they were in fact Eunichs' databases.
Your state let the only two people retire who can use punch cards?
I know COBOL.
Lots of people know COBOL.
But apparently only two people in the world are familiar enough with 30K+ lines of COBOL in the CT benefits database to be able to make necessary modifications in a few weeks time.
Give me a break. I’d fire the Commissioner for being incompetent and any of his lackeys that said they couldn’t do it without the retirees. Having worked in IT extensively, they could probably rewrite the programs if they had reasonably competent programmers. But then again, they probably don’t have any “workers” just holders of “positions”!
Both departments lost key IT workers as part of a wave of people leaving state service last year in the months before a labor concessions deal changed retirement benefits.
Changes to unemployment benefits, including the extension Congress passed this month, require changes to the department's complex mainframe computer system. The system runs on COBOL, an old programming language that most job candidates don't know, but that's not the only problem. Murphy said the two retirees created millions of lines of code to tailor the system over more than three decades, making the department's technology essentially proprietary.
"It's unique to them, rather than to the knowledge of COBOL," he said. The details of the system were not properly documented when the retirees left, he added.