Outsourcing failure

Couldn’t they have outsourced this to India?

Schneider: Letter to state employers not a hoax
John Schneider • January 8, 2009 • From LSJ.com

The letter, supposedly from the State of Michigan, was such a train wreck that I assumed it was a hoax.

Sent to 1,400-plus employers, the letter claims to be from the “Michigan Department of Health and Human Services,” which doesn’t exist, under the direction of Marianne Udow, who hasn’t worked for the state since August 2007.

Furthermore, the letter thanks Michigan employers for their assistance in “helping to provide child support to Indiana’s children.”

“What the heck … ?” asked Valerie Howell, office manager for H & H Welding/Repair of Mason, who got one of the letters. “I thought for sure it was a scam.”

The letter definitely has that look. The logo is cheesy. The letterhead is strictly bush league. The print job looks like something you might get from a Nigerian prince.

Kurt Weiss of the state Department of Information Technology explained that the task of composing and mailing the letter was outsourced to Policy Studies Inc. of Denver, Colo., which botched the job royally.

Royally botching-wise, as Paladin points out, this demonstrates 2 things: 1) the State of Michigan judges its own employees incapable of writing its letters, and 2) that it does not even read the letters it outsources before mailing them.

An even sadder possiblity is that they did proofread the letter before mailing. Anybody have a postmark? This could also be evidence that the entire State government has been outsourced to Detroit. It could be evidence that the State IT department hasn’t heard of the mail-merge feature in Microsoft Word.

The State will now probably insist on having the letters returned at taxpayer expense so they can be shredded by a company in Ohio at double Michigan companies’ rates.

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