City budget includes new software

City budget includes new software

By Shellie Berg

By Shellie Berg

Staff Reporter

One of the major leaps included in the city’s proposed 2001 budget is the change in current computer software.

“We’re doing an evaluation of our financial software that we’ve had since 1992,” the city’s data processing manager Jim Coffey said. “Usually, these things are good for five or six years. It’s time to evaluate it and see what else is out there.”

The software correlates all departments. “It’s kind of all-inclusive,” Coffey said.

On Oct. 13, the city hired Group 1 Resources, Inc., in Lombard, to conduct a software study. The company is interviewing users and will provide a report of options and costs for government software from various companies. New software costs between $300,000 and $500,000. The city may choose to retain the current software and simply update it.

Group 1 senior manager Kelvin Keach said the options are “to buy that same vendor’s current versions of those systems or to go out for a bidding process to select a brand new vendor. We’re here to review and analyze and prepare a report recommending a course of action to the city, along with our recommendation. We don’t actually tell the city what to do. We say here’s what to do and why.”

So far, Keach has discussed the city’s current infrastructure with Coffey. “I have reviewed documentation for the current systems,” he said. “I have contacted that system vendor to get information such as what it would cost to install the new one. I’m awaiting their response.”

Also, Group 1 has distributed 150 questionnaires to city employees to acquire their input on the strengths and weaknesses of the system.

The company hopes to complete all of the steps and make a recommendation to the city sometime in February. The software would begin to be installed next October. The installation will take about a year to complete.

Coffey pointed out that the system is outdated, and the city wants to complete the system before he retires in 15 months. “I’m most familiar with it, so they want to take advantage of it,” he said.

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