1 April 2023
Gov. Joe Lombardo canceled implementing a massive state IT project, leaving the state with nothing to show after spending more than $100 million on an effort to replace Nevada’s ancient human resource and finance operations systems.
The Silver State Modernization Approach for Resources and Technology, or Smart 21 project, so-called because it was supposed to be implemented by 2021, was plagued by years-long problems and delays. In a letter sent to state agency directors Friday, members of the Smart 21 project’s executive committee announced the state would cancel the project, roll back all existing modules and return to “legacy programming.”
“This is a temporary solution as we are committed to delivering a modernized system for our core state functions that will bring Nevada into the forefront of modern enterprise resource planning (ERP),” committee members wrote, noting that any new modernization efforts would no longer be called Smart 21.
The Smart 21 project came under former Gov. Brian Sandoval’s administration in the form of AB504 and was designed as part of a modernization effort to serve Nevadans with an “efficient and responsive state government.”
In a 2018 memo to state employees announcing the project, Director Lee-Ann Easton wrote that it aimed to replace existing human resources and financial management systems and provide agencies with easy-to-use reporting tools, better data management and security as well as added flexibility.
Then-Gov. Steve Sisolak, Attorney General Aaron Ford and former Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske originally selected Labyrinth Solutions, Inc. (LSI) as a contractor to implement the new solutions in 2019 but fired the company last year.
The Smart 21 state page lists that the project is “coming soon;” however, any links with more information about it appear to have been removed. The Office of Project Management wrote on the state page that the site was under construction and would be user-friendly by the end of February 2023.
In the letter to state agencies, the project’s executive committee said efforts to replace the project with a new system have already begun and it has a goal of being in a new contract by the October Board of Examiners meeting.
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