DHR Consultants

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The board overseeing the Department of Human Resources plans a special meeting with the agency's commissioner to address problems with a $60 million computer system and the use of former state employees as computer consultants.

Gov. Bob Riley, the board chairman, agreed to schedule the special meeting with Commissioner Page Walley at the request of board members. No date has been set.

DHR began developing a statewide computer system in 1994 to store information and monitor child welfare cases handled by the agency. Much of the work was turned over to outside consultants making $50 to $85 an hour.

Federal officials believe using consultants could have delayed the project and state workers would have provided more long-term consistency.

Walley said he has reduced the number of computer consultants. He told a legislative committee this week that he believes the agency can finish the child welfare computer system in two and a half years.