Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy | Tags: Farm Programs, MIDAS, USDA
The Modernize and Innovate the Delivery of Agricultural Systems Program (MIDAS) of the Department of Agriculture was intended to act as a more efficient IT system that streamlined USDA programs for farmers. Two years past its deadline and $140 million over budget, the Department has only completed 1.5 percent of its goal to update its IT system.
MIDAS was supposed to replace the “Web Farm.” the centralized computer server that keeps track of information about the farmers who are receiving aid from the USDA’s 31 programs that was antiquated and beginning to fail. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) reported to Congress that $305 million would allow them to consolidate their 32 farm programs into MIDAS by the end of fiscal year 2012. So far they are $140 million over budget and have completed only one of the 66 applications. By 2022, the program is projected to have a total cost of nearly $824 million.
Last July, the USDA was ordered to stop the development of MIDAS by an order of Secretary Tom Vilsak. Congress said the USDA’s mismanagement of the program is of “greatest concern” when drafting an appropriations bill for FY 2015. The planning for MIDAS began over 10 years ago, and after spending over $400 million USDA stopped the program. At a projected annual operational and maintenance cost of over $50 million a year, the department must determine whether the benefits of the program warrant that level of resource commitment.
The federal government seems to be having a continuing problem with internet technology. The computerization of the Affordable Care Act was a disaster. The White House system was hacked. Then the IRS was hacked, and now the latest cyber attack has breached the computers of the US government agency that collects personnel information for federal workers that compromises the data of about 4 million current and former federal employees.
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