HEALTH DEPARTMENT: IMPROVED INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INFRASTRUCTURE

4-C
HEALTH DEPARTMENT:
IMPROVED INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INFRASTRUCTURE

 

Problem Identification:
The Department cannot access and manage accounting and purchasing information in a timely fashion.

Recommended Action:
Enhance the Department’s information technology infrastructure by implementing software applications that interface with the City’s central systems.

Classification:
Cost Savings, Service Improvement

Functional/Operational Area:
Fiscal Services

Estimated Annual Impact:
While the immediate financial impact cannot be estimated, improvements in the Department’s information technology infrastructure could enable more timely production of accounting and purchasing reports and yield potential opportunities to downsize fiscal and purchasing staffs necessitated by existing duplicative manual processes.

Estimated Implementation Costs:
Connectivity and programming costs have not been determined.

Barriers to Implementation:
The cost of implementation.

Projected Implementation:
1 year

Next Steps:
The Department, in conjunction with the Bureau of Information Technology, should develop a proposal to establish the necessary electronic interfaces.

Analysis:
The Department’s fiscal staff relies heavily upon the Finance Department for accounting information. This information, however, is often only available in hard copy and there can be considerable delays in supplying it to the Department. As an interim measure to full automation, the Department should pursue meetings with the Finance Department to identify opportunities to improve existing manual processes and accelerate the sharing of critical accounting information.

The Department does not have an automated system to track and expedite purchase orders and monitor budget allocation and expenditures. An automated purchasing system could reduce staffing needs necessitated by repetitive and cumbersome manual processes and improve the Department’s ability to take advantage of vendor discounts.