This story from the Washington Post was almost too good to pass up. Apparently the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) is in all kinds of trouble these days, from the Bernie Madoff scandal to employees looking at porn at work. IT doesn’t seem to be their forte either. The SEC violated procurement law in 2008 when, without proper testing, it spent about $1 million buying computer equipment from Apple. You can probably guess what happens next. The equipment they purchased immediately failed to work as intended. Now they are saying they are taking steps to improve their policies towards purchasing IT solutions. That’s all well and good but you would think a Federal Agency would’ve done a little more due diligence before spending $1 million to upgrade their IT systems. It’s not like they were not given the opportunity to work with the equipment and test it out ahead of time. According to the article, they passed up the chance to try the equipment for free.
I’m not sure what is more disturbing, the complete ineptitude on the SEC’s part or the inadequacy of their information technology. No wonder crime and fraud has become the norm on Wall St. The agency in charge of regulating those issues is running outdated IT systems and spending big money on the wrong equipment. It is certainly a cautionary tale in some respects. If you’re given an opportunity to test something, do it. If you’re not given that opportunity, ask for it. The worst they can do is say no. It can save you headaches in the long haul.