CONVERGYS OUTSOURCING DATA ON STATE EMPLOYEES-Andrew Stelzer03/21/06
â€œwhat we want to know is what could have happened to those records, info could have gotten into wrong hand. In India, or florida..â€?Florida Democratic party spokesman Mark Bubrinski says answers have not been forthcoming about where the information may have ended up.
ACT-Bubrinski â€œBill Coterell has been digging, he asked Convergys where the info went. They responded the records are in the US, they did not address where the records used to be they just said they are here..there lots of personal data medical history that could be floating anywhereâ€?
The Convergys program, part of Governor Bushâ€™s People First privatization initiative, has been plagued since it began in January of 2005. tens of Thousands of complaints flooded the lines in the first few months, and wait times were 45 minutes to an hour. The cost savings was estimated by the Governor to be 93 million, now it will be a fifth of that at most. And a former Convergys employee was arrested and accused of stealing the identity of 2 state employees. Bubriski points out the fact that Convergys donated 37,000 to the Republican Party of Florida, and speculates thatâ€™s why attorney general Charlie Crist hasnâ€™t been ore aggressive in bringing charges against Convergys.
ACT-Bubrinski â€œCrist has been such a proponent of the identity theft issue, thee is explicit hypocrisy here that needs to be addressed..â€?
ACT-Bubrinski â€œcould it be that Convergys is a major republican contributor, theyâ€™ve given to reps Convergys head lobbyist is a top campaign advisor to Charlie Cristâ€¦we donâ€™t now but we want those answersâ€?
The state of Florida has asked Covergys to pay a 5 million dollar fine. Doug martin with the State employees union says the attorney general has done some work on the issue, but he says there is plenty of blame to spread around.
ACT-martin â€œI lay the blame on convergy for failing to manage their subcontractors and engaging in business practices, but blame also goes wit the state and Gov Bush. This contract was shoved down throat of state to make this impossible to get out of, and its cost more than 300,000 million dollars, and wasnâ€™t as good..is the most outrageous privatization weâ€™ve seen in FL.â€?
Several republicans in the Senate, led by Senator Nancy Argenziano, have called for a full investigation into the personal data. No one from the state Department of Management Services was available to comment, but they sent WMNF a letter that was sent out to state employees, letting them know that if they worked for the state anytime between January 1, 2003 and June 30, 2004 Convergys is offering one-year credit protection program with credit alerts and identity theft coverage. Martin says that Convergys should reimburse the state of Florida for all of the work that was supposed to be done in the United States but was not. He is also calling for a cancellation of the contract
immediately. ACT-martin â€œwe donâ€™t want this to run for another several years. Its non=-performing, its lies, it needs to end and be brought back in house. They didnâ€™t just do this to rank and file they did it to governor legislators and families, they have screwed up with retirees and legislators have had to field thousands of calls for people whoâ€™ve had benefits mismanaged by companyâ€¦its hundreds of million wasted, it needs to be killed now..â€?
If you are a state employee and want to know if your information may have been offshored, call tool free 1-866-663-4735 and press prompt 5