Quote of the Day - Although a heightened degree of overseas job outsourcing is probably taking place, the phenomenon is likely exaggerated by newspaper headlines.
A local law enforcement listener called Los Angeles radio station KFI and revealed that the Orange County Courts outsource data entry of traffic tickets to Nogales, Mexico, prompting outraged citizens to call (mistakenly) the Orange County Board of Supervisors. The County Board has no authority over the Court system, which is a state-run entity. The shock jocks at the radio station advised listeners to call the Supervisors, apparently not completely understanding governmental organizational boundaries. They've now straightened out their confusion. In response, however, the Orange County, California Superior Court issued this press release, assuring the public that their private data was safe.
According to the press release, "Nogales employees must also be certified by the Sonoran State Police that they have passed a background search and do not have a criminal record. Before entering the segregated work location, employees must check all cell phones, purses, backpacks, and personal items including paper and pens, in a locker. Access to the production area is accessed by approved personnel only."
The Orange County Register, on the other hand, reported that Orange County Supervisor Chris Norby appeared on KFI and "denounced the court's hiring of the outsourcing company. '(DMV information) has to be kept as closely guarded as possible and outsourcing this kind of information outside the country is something this board would never support,' Norby said."
The Court's press release countered, and said it should all be moot sometime in the future: "The Court wants to ensure the public that private data is safe. The Court has taken the lead in facilitating electronic data projects that will, in the future, allow for direct transmission of ticket information from police officers to the Court without the need for a third party."
In the meantime, maybe you shouldn't speed in Orange County.
July 30, 2007 update: The Court has terminated the portion of the contract that allowed public data to be transferred to Mexico.