Tuntland Calls Justin Data


November 9, 2010

Justin Data of the Information Technology Department with the State of North Dakota worked with WSI on their plan to replace their software (ITTP project).  He said the state was involved to safeguard the project.  Long's attorney Tuntland presented an email Data had written to Long stating that as they were ready to embark on phase 2 of the project, he was witnessing an erosion of the management structure. 

Data testified in phase 1 Jim was the project sponsor, the "owner of the project", made top level decisions and worked with the executive sponsor.  He said Sandy Blunt had worked closely with Jim on the project but there was down time between the planning and implementation phases.  At that time, things were very political at WSI and there was alot of news in the paper.  He was concerned that they were all fighting about small things for three weeks and that there were millions of dollars on the line and he needed to have a clear line of authority.  Data was happy how that had worked in phase 1 and he needed Long to fix this problem with phase 2.  He stated he'd had no problems when Long and Blunt were working on the project.  He stated that the executive office was in turmoil and that's not where you want to be when you're ready to spend 14 million dollars.  Data said backpedaling, extra personnel, and no clear decision making always costs more down the line.  He stated the standard line for every 1 dollar you spend, if you get it wrong it costs 10 dollars.  Data said he wanted a clear line of authority to be established as it was previously, he wanted decisions vetted and not changed, and that Jim had been a very good project sponsor. 

Mitch Armstrong noted Data mentioned politics and asked whether he was talking about internal WSI politics and not democrat and republican.  Data said that was correct.  Armstrong asked Data whether there were perceived violations of law.  Data replied, no. 

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