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    Loudoun County coughs up nearly $10 million for new records system

    Loudoun's Board of Supervisors approved Wednesday night a nearly $10 million expenditure that includes hiring several new technology positions to implement and manage a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) management system that will keep track of taxes, assessments and human resources.

    The board's finance committee has studied the issue for months and, at times, questioned whether there was a lack of communication or miscues on the part of county staff. The implementation of the new system has caused headaches for some department heads trying to evaluate their budgets.

    After additional needs and resources unforeseen by county staff came to light earlier this year, the overall cost of the ERP ballooned.

    Included in the supervisors' approval Wednesday was the allowance of the following budget adjustments: $1.7 million expense for the Phase 1 of the ERP project requirements; $342,000 for six positions in the Department of Management and Financial Services and $63,00 for one position in the Department of Information Technology for ongoing operational, maintenance and technical support of the various modules implemented in Phase 1 of ERP as well modules to be implemented in Phases 2 and 3 of ERP; $445,000 for Phase 2 start-up activities; and $7 million in an ERP Implementation Contingency account, the funds of which may only be released after review and approval of the finance committee.

    Loudoun County Commissioner of the Revenue Bob Wertz, who sat on a steering committee examining the ERP, said the project has been a lesson in resourcing.

    “County staff sometimes takes things on and just continues to take them on even though we may not have proper staffing in place – they think they can do more and more and more,” Wertz said. “Well, that's not the case, and I think this project has shown that we really do need the staff if we're going to do this properly.”

    Supervisor Ken Reid (R-Leesburg), a member of the finance committee, asked what the public benefit is of the new ERP system.

    "To have us spend this kind of money potentially out of the fund balance, which is really the taxpayers' dollars, you know, it really killed me,” Reid said during a Nov. 25 committee meeting.

    According to a county report, the ERP will “support the growth and complex business needs of Loudoun for the next 20 years.”

    "It will provide both the county and schools with an operations and business system that is full-integrated, web-based and centralized,” the report states. “ … A full-integrated system provides the ability to link positions with salary, benefits and non-personnel for a more holistic review of operations and costs … this provides for a better basis for decision-making by staff and leadership.”

    Providing his take on why the systems overhaul is necessary, Supervisor Matt Letourneau (R-Dulles), another member of the finance committee, said it's a matter of bringing the county's records into the 21st century.

    "We aren't doing this to save money … It's being done because we have a 25-year-old system,” Letourneau said Nov. 25. “Just as you don't drive a 25-year-old car … particularly when it comes to technology you don't use a 25-year-old phone because they didn't have cellphones back then. At some point in time you just have to pony up and upgrade your system. I think this has been a tough one because it's so expensive. I also understand that other jurisdictions that have undergone this sort of process have run into similar issues.”

    County government and Loudoun County Public Schools began implementation of the new enterprise resource planning system in January 2012 as part of a comprehensive program to replace three core financial systems.

    Also included in the nearly $10 million were funds for consulting to help with the operation and jump-starting of the ERP system.

    “The whole point is that we continue to lack sufficient resources for both the final implementation, operation of Phase 1 from the beginning, and the implementation of Phase 2, and one of the ways we're trying to close out Phase 1 is with some additional temporary resources,” said county finance officer Ben Mays

    Commented Supervisor Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn), chairman of the finance committee: “This is a very complex item that I could literally talk about for hours.”


    Contact the writer at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

    Comments

    going off of what Cowbell said and I agree. Is this not a BOS that is all or majority Republican? I thought they are supposed to CUT SPENDING ??? This ERP is not an example of that.

    Also, I thought our real estate tax bills were supposed to decrease ? Yes, the rate has been falling slowly, but they just increase the tax base and what I am left with is a bigger tax bill.

    We really should revolt and practice our freedom of speach on a really busy road and tie up traffic even more to show were not putting up with this anymore.

    Dulles toll road is supposed to go up to $3.50 each trip in 4 weeks assuming beltway toll plaza is used.

    What is the obsession of having all these new homes built in LOCO? And why are these getting approved? Homeownership should not be a right, but a privlege. Why can’t some legislation go into effect no more building new homes until roads are up to standards. My commute goes up like 5 mins every year (up to over 1 hour each way now)

    Instead of using land for these overpriced homes why can’t LOCO attract some decent employers like Fairfax County ? No, the county government and school system does not count. I am talking employers like PriceWaterhouse, FBI, etc…It would benefit us residents so we don’t have to commute like 1 or 2 counties over.


    orange you should change your name to lemon.  Loudoun employees derserve far more than they receive.  Its the 6-figure management staff that make the bucks not the regular $15/hr worker who barely makes ends meet and has to deal with these moron managers.
    Shame on you… ba humbug lemom!


    It’s always a hoot to watch our corrupt politicians(even at local level) give out tax money away as if it’s their money… Meanwhile, Mr Loudoun County resident’s taxes go up, the Dulles Tool rd tolls go up(another hidden tax on northern va), LCPS will need more money and most developers are asking for more houses to be built…. Perhaps the names have changed(BOS) but their spending and allowing more housing development hasn’t changed.


    Giving employees the day off doesn’t save on pay. They will still receive a paycheck for that day, it’s just marked as Holiday pay.  The $260,000 in savings is likely from those workers not using any fuel, electricity, water, etc.


    7 million dollar slush fund, cmon man?
    They also committed to giving the county employees off December 23rd at a cost of 260 thousand if you can believe Ben Mays. Why you ask do I say that because there are 3303 county employees divided into 260k comes to 78 dollars per day either we are getting a really good deal as far as the cost of county employees go or Big Ben may not be telling us the complete set of costs. 260 k for nothing is $5,200.00 per year for a taxpayer, gone for nothing except Big Ben may have had to do some calculation like he didn’t do for the county employees raises in September

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