Letters to the Editor

State government: 'Glitches' are really lapses

A while ago, the state Department of Corrections exposed a problem it had releasing some prisoners prematurely over a number of years.

The News Tribune called it a computer glitch (an infrequent transient error). Most recently, the state tolling system has billed people for tolls they should have seen months ago. The TNT (Matt Driscoll column, 4/25) called that a glitch, too.

The DOC knew for years it was releasing certain prisoners early but chose to correct other errors in their systems instead. Not a glitch.

Toll revenues in the tens of thousands of dollars were not collected? Did no one notice revenue wasn’t meeting projections? A glitch, really?.

Analysts write specifications for prisoner release and tolling. Programmers write computer programs to meet those specifications. Testers perform tests to ensure specs are met and they report errors found. Management orders corrections to be made (or not). This process does not yield glitches.

The TNT is misleading its audience into supposing gremlins exist rather than notice real management failures. The truth may take more digging, but it would make a far more informative read.