A Seattle IT firm will get $530,000 to back up computer systems in Pennsylvania after a data deletion 

January 31 — In the beginning of the month, news broke that a whole lot of data had been deleted from 77 servers in the Pennsylvania State Department. 

The data included information from the state police and the State Employees’ Retirement System. 

The cause was allegedly human error and people have since been fired. 

Some of the data was recovered, but some is permanently gone. 

Well now, in order to try to make sure this doesn’t happen again, Governor Josh Shapiro’s administration is hiring a Seattle-based IT firm to the tune of $530,000 a month to provide additional layers of protection. 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “How would you like that paycheck? How do I find out if that was bid out? You mean to tell me we can’t do business in Pennsylvania? This is a Seattle company that’s gonna get this pay day. We can’t get it done here in Pennsylvania for less than that?”

Attorney Clint Barkdoll asked, “Do we not even have in-house experts that could do it? My spidey senses are up about this whole case. We’ve seen enough of these cases over the years. I have a feeling there’s a lot more to this that we’re not being told because the reporting was an employee error and someone accidentally deleted a server that destroyed all of this information. If that’s really what happened, that seems like a really simple situation. But now the fact that they’re bringing in an outside consultant, there have been some other drips of information about difficulty they’re having reconstituting the lost data. You just wonder, is there something more going on here that we’re not being told? Assuming that the state bid this out or at least did an RFP, that would be public information. It would be interesting to know how many other bids they get for this? How did this Seattle firm rise to the top? Were they just the lowest bidder or is there something about them that makes them uniquely qualified to come in and look at this? But I just think that there’s much more to this that is still to be known that we’re not being told yet.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “I thought there was a reference in there that some of this dates back much farther than something just happening in the beginning of January. Also they say two firings and other personnel changes, so maybe we truly don’t have any great IT experts. I don’t know how many they would have.”

Ryan predicted, “Oh, Josh is gonna blame it on the brain drain. You mean with all the benefits and all the dough and all this money and then we’re going out to Seattle for this?”

Jansen added, “It says affected records were processed between June 15 until January.” 

Barkdoll said, “When you’re talking about state police investigation records, State Employee Retirement records, you’re talking about some very sensitive data. In the state police case, it sounds like they had paper backups. In the case of SERS, there must have been some kind of a redundancy that they’re bringing back on, but why the need then for this high dollar outside consultant and why aren’t we getting a more full disclosure of exactly how this happened? That’s why I’m suspicious about it.”