Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Mitch Roob says he’s willing to sue over a provision in a farm bill passed by the U.S. House last week that would force his agency to cancel its one billion dollar contract with IBM Corporation. The deal lets some IBM subsidiaries manage much of the application process for benefits such as food stamps and Medicaid. While the U.S. Senate could still remove the House-approved language about privatization, Roob says if the measure stays it will come with a 125-million dollar price tag. Roob says he and others in the Daniels administration are trying to get Senators Richard Lugar and Evan Bayh to drive the measure out of the farm bill.
Online applications, call centers, and expanded branch location hours being managed by IBM should be rolled out in October, as part of a ten-county pilot program.