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Mendocino County’s Grand Jury Concludes the County’s Information Technology is ‘Outdated’

The following was press release was issued by the Mendocino County Unified School District:

The 2020-21 Mendocino County Grand Jury has released a report on Mendocino County Information technology.

“Mendocino County’s Information Technology (IT) is outdated with 99 Initiatives identified for improvement. The composition and priorities of the Board of Supervisors (BOS) evolved over time and more recently the Supervisors are keenly aware of the need for improvement. Setting priorities, providing leadership, or committing funds to modernize the County’s information systems has been a persistent management challenge”.

FINDINGS

F1. The CEO and BOS have not clearly defined the scope, authority or recruitment strategy for the proposed CIO position.

F2. The completion of the 99 Initiatives of the IT Master Plan has been delayed by 21 months due to factors such as a low priority for improving IT, uncoordinated project management, budgetary commitments and demonstrated deficient leadership.

F3. The BOS approves funding for the ITMP but does not participate on the ITMP Steering Committee to communicate priorities, provide leadership and approve resources.

F4. Since some costs are recorded in departmental budgets but not consolidated into the ITMP, the total cost of the Initiatives is possibly underrepresented by millions of dollars.

F5. The SO IS Department has been allowed to operate separately from the County’s IS department which is a detriment to efficient delivery of services and cost effectiveness.

F6. If the IT staff with access to DOJ systems have received clearance to maintain equipment of the SO, there is no legal obstacle that would prevent reporting to a central IT Department headed by a CIO.

F7. Project status reporting is not clearly or regularly represented to the public and the BOS, thus leaving them uninformed of IT’s priorities and project initiatives.

F8. Project Manager position(s) are unfilled, or the need not recognized, which leads to project plans not consistently being prepared for the management of IT Initiatives.

F9. Project managers and process application analysts are critical and unfilled positions in Mendocino County’s IT organization, which is already understaffed given the number of Initiatives in the ITMP as well as on-going operational needs.

F10. The County’s efforts to secure its systems has not been evaluated by an independent audit in more than fifteen years which presents a considerable risk of systems compromise or ransomware attack.

F11. The Auditor/Controller has not established the accounting procedure for the mandated funding reserve established by County Policy 35 which is obsolete and inadequately capped at $850,000.

F12. Unlike many modernized California Counties, there are few mechanisms for the public to request most on-line County services or electronically submit forms thus inadequately serving the needs of the public and efficiently processing through County staff.

F13. The County plans to issue an unnecessary and expensive RFP to select an alternative email service to replace GroupWise, when Microsoft email could simply be implemented. The County already licenses all other Office software from Microsoft except for email which is tightly integrated with all other Microsoft products.

The recommendations and the entire report are attached, and will be posted to the Grand Jury’s website: https://www.mendocinocounty.org/government/grand-jury/2020-2021-reports

Categories: News

2 replies »

  1. If an employee got that many strikes against performance of duties they would be terminated
    Oh the joys of leadership

  2. Here is a chance to really get into the tax payers bank account, hire sumore outside help, setup an agency get a program going that way you can hire more people to watch other people, an really sock it to the taxpayer! just keep telling us how bad it is, but funny its been working a long time, you got sumbody trying to install their own kingdom, as long as they can con the money from the county, these will be fat salaries, with lotsa bennies. its tyme to have a look at whom is asking for these monies.

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