If you’ve ever wanted to waste a million dollars, you should leave it to the experts at the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. They spent $1 million on 3,500 GPS devices and specialized software… only to drop them into storage after finding the system didn’t meet their needs. And it’s a liberal Democrat whose calling them out for their waste.

State Sen. Elliott Naishtat of Austin is quoted in the Austin American Statesman: “It’s good they tested it, but they should have tested it before they paid for the whole thing.”

Apparently it just didn’t occur to anyone at the agency to, you know, buy just one and test it out. Only after making the purchase did some employees start using the system and find it was wrong about 80 percent of the time.

The agency says they will still use the GPS devices, someday. After the bugs are fixed. They claim the devices “don’t have a shelf life.”

That may be true, but the taxpayers’ dollars do. That money could have been better spent on something else — or left in the taxpayers’ wallet — rather than on gizmos that are gathering dust in the agency’s storage shed. Technology always drops in cost, so they could have bought the same 3,500 devices for less money next year, when the system was actually ready to be used.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."


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