County to reassess IT needs within departments

ISAC tech team to visit county and evaluate county’s IT status

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PCC EDITOR

LEE COUNTY – Lee County will soon be having a review of its Information Technology needs.

At Tuesday’s regular meeting, the county took steps to shore up IT issues within county offices including an assessment from an IT team associated with the Iowa State Association of Counties.

The Iowa Counties of Information Technology, which is comprised of IT Directors from counties across the state, has an assessment team that will be visiting the county in the near future to evaluate Lee County’s Information Technology status.

Kevin Harter, the county’s new IT director, said he’s been engaged in improving the county’s IT situation since he was hired last month.

“As you know, we’ve been working on improving the technology situation here and, as a part of that, we need to determine where we’re at,” Harter said.

“There’s a group from ISAC comprised of IT directors from around the state. And part of that group is a tech team that comes to a county to evaluate and assess the situation and make recommendations and so forth.”

The tech team will visit the county offices for two days and assess the county’s IT capabilities and any shortcomings and then provide a report.

Typically the group does two different kinds of assessment. One is for counties that don’t have any real IT in place, and the other is for counties that do have IT systems in place.

Andrew De Haan, IT director out of Marion County, is one of the tech team members and spoke to the board about the process.

“The assessment we’d do for you guys would be a little different as we would, during our report, provide you with more of an executive summary and not get too in the weeds of the technical details,” De Haan said.

“But then we would also provide a more technical report to Kevin and he could take that report and bring it to you with specific requests or needs, or specific problems and try to make things more safe and secure.”

De Haan said they would also be able to have the team sit with Harter, who is relatively new to county government work, and collaborate with him on best practices and things of that nature.

“The other thing we wanted to help Kevin with is just be able to sit down with five to eight of his peers in county IT and walk through how IT does budgeting, and how IT does some of these other things to give him a boost on being able to do his job well for your county.”

Harter said the cost of the work is minimal and helps cover the cost of the team to travel to Fort Madison and spend the night including meals.

“The cost is pretty minimal for what they do. They’re looking for $3,000 to cover cost of hotels and food that kind of thing and it would come out of my budget,” he said.

Garry Seyb said he sat in on a seminar at the annual ISAC conference in March and said the group is a pretty dynamic team.

SEYB, JR.

“They will be a big help to us. And just having that overall assessment will help a lot.”

The board also approved increasing Harter’s credit limit to $30,000 to where it was under previous directors. Currently the card is set at $10,000, but Harter said he is bidding new equipment now that will exceed the current limit.

“With the components he’s going to be buying, he will need that extra limit,” Seyb said.

“I think he needs the ability to spend the additional money for servers and things like that. Our server, as in singular, is very old,” Seyb said.

Harter told the board he has also negotiated an increase in digital speed at county offices while cutting the monthly cost by close to $500.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: