State agency says it desperately needs $16 million

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OKLAHOMA CITY - The Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) is desperately seeking funds.

The State Office of Management and Enterprises Services says it is $16 million in the hole, and needs cash right away.

The agency says if they don't get the money, furloughs could be on the way.

According to members of the State Appropriations Committee, the Office of Management and Enterprise Services came to the them earlier in March asking for $16 million in additional state funding to pay outstanding vendor bills.

This week, OMES members went in front of the committee.

Despite prior reports to the contrary, an OMES official tells News 4 there will be no furloughs associated with this situation.

OMES officials blame increasing IT costs for the shortfall.

Appropriations Committee members are asking why they're just now hearing about this.

“What concerns me about this is the lack of cash flow, the lack of invoices being paid to the vendors and plus people paying OMES. It's been going on for a while and the legislature did not know about it. I think we need to know about it before it becomes a crisis situation,” said Senator Roger Thompson, of Okemah.

Senator Thompson says he thinks there are rainy day funds associated with OMES that can be used so that those furloughs don’t happen.

OMES representatives released the following statement on the shortfall:

“OMES is meeting with House and Senate leadership and fiscal staff to work through the agency’s current request. While the agency’s funding needs outlined in the supplemental request are still present, we are working with legislative leaders to find a workable solution for this fiscal year and ultimately identify a permanent funding solution for the state’s IT infrastructure going forward.”

A decision about the emergency funds should come in the next two weeks.

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