City treasurer's department moves for IT independence City Council Round-Up
By Cecil Griffith
Stabroek News
March 10, 2003

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City councillors are being asked to expeditiously and comprehensively settle several "grave issues that are already affecting the council's information system's division."

According to council systems analyst, Mr Wayne Orderson "the operations of the entire municipality are under threat."

At the last statutory meeting of the council, Deputy Mayor Robert Williams made mention of a certain document which he said had been making the rounds at City Hall and was referred to when coverage was given to the last `Round up.'

Mr Orderson, who is the author of the document, had first drawn the attention of Town Clerk Beulah Williams to his concerns related to the Information Technology (IT division) connected to the municipality on February 11, and sought her assistance as well as that of the finance chairman of the council in order that they might be urgently addressed.

The town clerk was told that there is a developing tendency for particular departments of the municipality requiring new computer hardware and supplies for their respective departments to contravene standard operational procedure that requires all computer-related purchases to be initiated by the IT division.

In his complaint to the town clerk Mr Orderson said it had been discovered that attempts were underway to install and operate a separate network server with the city treasurer's department without the permission of the Mayor and City Council.

Such an arrangement, he argued, would compromise the network, restrict resource sharing, limit electronic mail and significantly increase network operating costs.

The head of the council's IT division has recommended that maintenance of the council's server, monitoring, back-up and storage of all software programmes and security procedures for the network be performed only by this division.

The systems analyst on March 3, 2003, wrote Mayor Hamilton Green telling him that attempts to settle the matter administratively had proven futile.

Town clerk's findings

After noting that the IT division is still in its infant stage and needs further development, the town clerk has found that there is a lack of confidence in the IT division by the end users because of the lack of response by the division to concerns expressed from time to time.

The point was made that although requisitions must be made by the relevant sections, purchases must be done by the procurement section of the municipality.

The town clerk also pointed out that the server in the treasurer's department was there to allow for greater efficiency in that department with respect to the processing of data, following several complaints of corruption to data experienced by the same department.

At the last statutory meeting of the council the mayor had called for a thorough investigation of the matter, which would be debated by the city `fathers' and `mothers.'

More consultants

In yet another attempt to improve its human and financial operations City Hall has engaged Lynch Associates, a firm of consultants, at a cost of $2.8 million. Attention is to be paid to the accounting and budgeting systems in the municipality as well as organisational structures.

The administration has begun looking for accommodation for the consultants.

The council already has a contract with SV Jones Associates which has been looking at the human resources aspect of the municipality. The council is still debating the firm's recommendations as they deal with personnel.

Some years ago a city accounting firm, well known in the media, was called in to look at tax collection and other operations of the city treasurer's department, not forgetting the Liburd report on the operations if the city engineer's department which is still to be implemented.

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