Tarrant County Commissioners Court voted unanimously this week to burn over a million dollars of taxpayers’ money on a failed software program.

TechShare.Court software was created by TechShare, a government-owned and taxpayer-funded entity that offers a variety of products. The program has been in development for around eight years and is still not fully operational, despite the county pouring millions into it. TechShare.Court is so riddled with flaws that all of Dallas County’s criminal court judges, in a rare show of unity, spoke out against the software back in 2015. “How much more money are they going to pour down a rat hole?” asked State District Judge Robert Burns at the time. “It’s time to change direction.”

Even while TechShare.Court was stuck in development hell, both Dallas and Tarrant counties decided to add to the workload by having TechShare create software to replace both counties’ dilapidated jail software, rather than opting for more affordable and effective options available on the open market. In fact, Tarrant County risked an additional $24 million in taxpayer money on the project in 2017.

TechShare.Court and TechShare.Jail are still not operational, and it is unclear when they will be. Yet the Tarrant County Commissioners Court voted unanimously last week to continue siphoning more taxpayer money into TechShare Court. That money helps finance the Texas Conference of Urban Counties, a taxpayer-funded union of county governments across Texas, which oversees the TechShare program. Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley serves on the CUC Board of Directors as vice chairman of TechShare.

Tarrant County taxpayers should demand answers and accountability in regards to TechShare.

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.