Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited December 8, 2016, 4:55 pm
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Texas lawmakers hear allegations about lottery disaster site

Texas LotteryTexas Lottery: Texas lawmakers hear allegations about lottery disaster site

The Texas Lottery Commission would not be able to resume critical functions in a timely manner if its headquarters were destroyed because its disaster recovery site lacks important equipment, a former lottery employee told lawmakers Monday.

Shelton Charles, a senior lottery systems analyst who was fired Nov. 4, told the House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee that he warned his bosses that backing up data was useless if the agency didn't have the equipment to access it. He said his managers told him they didn't have enough money to buy the hardware.

Charles' testimony came during a nearly four-hour committee hearing on management practices at the $3.5 billion a year agency, the second such hearing in five months. The committee oversees operations at the nation's third-largest lottery.

Top lottery officials disputed the claims, saying the site has been fully operational since late 1998 or early 1999.

The hearing was prompted by a scathing e-mail Charles sent to state Rep. Ismael "Kino" Flores, the committee's chairman, saying agency officials misled the Legislature about the disaster recovery site, tried to block public information requests that might have revealed wrongdoing and bullied employees into silence.

Most state agencies back up their critical data at a central disaster recovery site, but the lottery has spent about $1.3 million creating and maintaining its own site in an Austin warehouse.

Lottery Commission Chairman C. Thomas Clowe and Gary Grief, the agency's acting executive director, told the committee the site has been fully functional for years. But none of the half dozen lottery employees who testified knew the exact date it became operational.

Grief said creating the disaster recovery site was a massive undertaking done over a span of many months with different systems being brought online at different times.

"I think it would be disingenuous of me to try to tell you that on X date everything was done," he said. "I don't think I could do that and feel good about it."

He insisted, however, that lottery employees could quickly resume their duties at the disaster recovery site if necessary, and he invited the committee members to tour the facility.

Lawmakers plan to tour the facility after Thanksgiving.

Grief also pointed out that GTECH Corp., the contractor that runs the lottery's gaming operation, backs up its information in four places. He said that means a problem at lottery headquarters wouldn't affect wagering and prize claiming.

But Charles said there isn't enough bandwidth at the emergency facility for lottery employees to electronically communicate with either GTECH or retailers.

"If you get an analyst, a third party to review that, you're going to find out that I'm right on the money - no ifs, no ands, no buts," Charles said.

Charles was fired two days after he sent the e-mail to Flores and hours after the e-mail became public.

AP

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

4 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by CASH Only.
Page 1 of 1
Avatar
Sparta, NJ
United States
Member #18331
July 9, 2005
1977 Posts
Offline
Posted: November 15, 2005, 5:56 pm - IP Logged

Charles was fired two days after he sent the e-mail to Flores and hours after the e-mail became public.

I hope he has a great backup plan for feeding his family between now and eternity.  No one is going to hire him, and his current bandwidth is zero.

Cheers

|||::> *'`*:-.,_,.-:*''*:--->>> Chewie  <<<---.*''*:-.,_,.-:*''* <:::|||

I only trust myself - and that's a questionable choice

    Avatar
    New Member
    Up state
    United States
    Member #26237
    November 15, 2005
    1 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: November 15, 2005, 10:39 pm - IP Logged

    Flordia aniamal control contained all alliagoters the new threat is the Hammerhead Sharks.Smash

      Avatar
      Sparta, NJ
      United States
      Member #18331
      July 9, 2005
      1977 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: November 16, 2005, 6:07 pm - IP Logged

      Whatsa alliagoter?  Swimming with Bull Sharks is safe?

      Cheers

      |||::> *'`*:-.,_,.-:*''*:--->>> Chewie  <<<---.*''*:-.,_,.-:*''* <:::|||

      I only trust myself - and that's a questionable choice


        United States
        Member #379
        June 5, 2002
        11296 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: November 25, 2005, 4:11 pm - IP Logged

        Seems to me the Louisiana Lottery didn't plan for a disaster like Katrina. I haven't heard anything about how they're doing since the flooding.