Denver Revenue Department "Loses" Computer : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

State senators wondering what happened to $12 million for new computer DENVER (AP) - About $12 million later, the Revenue Department does not have a new computer system and two Republican Senators are wondering what happened to the money. "We sent you out to buy a Rolls-Royce, and now we can't find the garage," Sen. Jim Congrove, R-Arvada, said in a meeting Wednesday with new revenue director Fred Fisher. "If they're state Department of Revenue employees and they're involved in stealing from the state, don't worry about pointing fingers."

Fisher told Congrove and Senate President Ray Powers, R-Colorado Springs, that he doesn't suspect wrongdoing, but "incredibly bad management" by his predecessors under Gov. Roy Romer's administration.

"We have nothing to show (the $12 million) didn't fall into somebody's pants pocket," Powers told Fisher.

State auditors are examining files at the Revenue Department. Congrove wants a check-by-check accounting.

The computer system, called the Income Tax Initiative, was started in 1994 but shelved by former director Renny Fagan in 1998.

Fagan said part of the problem was that the system would not be ready for the 1999 or 2000 tax season and was not Y2K compliant.

Congrove asked Fisher if the computer hardware was not sitting on a shelf somewhere.

Fisher said most of the money went to contractors and the department now has computer programs, not hardware, sitting on shelves.

Congrove placed the blame on Fagan, who is now a top deputy for Democratic Attorney General Ken Salazar.

"These people, under Renny Fagan, have lost $12 million," Congrove said.

Fagan said Fisher took appropriate action in calling for an audit and rejected Congrove's assertion.

"There wasn't any stealing. There wasn't any sweetheart deals," Fagan said.

-- Roland (, November 12, 1999

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