Process to Build Technology Infrastructure for Consolidated Government Begins
As part of the Macon-Bibb County Consolidation, the Transition Task Force approved the team of Shafer Consulting and Technical Support Services, Inc. on Wednesday, October 17 to work with the City and County to develop a Request for Proposals (RFP). This will be used to seek out vendors that can provide a new, innovative, and cutting edge package of system and technology tools for the new government’s public administration and public safety services. By taking a comprehensive look at all aspects of how technology is used, identify the current and future needs, and discuss ways it can better serve the people, a system can be built that will help create a more effective Macon-Bibb County.
“Both of our systems are running, but there are definitely issues that need to be addressed. We need to have a single, streamlined system, not a merging of two systems that are already in need of large improvements,” says City of Macon CAO Dale Walker. “Working together to identify issues, needs, resources, and goals will allow us to identify the best solution for the new government and, most importantly, the public.”
A team of consultants immediately began working with the governments to set early timelines and schedule the initial conversations that will provide necessary information for the RFP. From Monday, October 22 through Wednesday, October 24, the team was in Macon to meet with departments and officials to gain a deeper understanding of the full scope of the project by identifying needs for each department; talk with administrators about their vision for improving efficiency through the use of technology; and answer questions about the process.
“We want to make sure that the Transition Task Force has a list of quality vendors that can provide Macon-Bibb County with a system that meets the needs of the new government and the people it will serve,” says Bob Lewis, Vice President of Schafer Consulting.
Based on the meetings held this week, the team is developing the timeline for RFP development, including specific key milestones that must be met such as when the RFP would need to be issued. Moving forward, the team will be visiting frequently the next few weeks and conducting workshops with functional teams to conduct more in-depth interviews and needs assessments. Functional teams will be created so that they span both department and government organization in order to make sure needs are most accurately identified and a comprehensive RFP is created.
“After these first conversations with Macon and Bibb County, our path is definitely becoming clearer,” adds Lewis. “The amount of people that were able to meet with us – and their responsiveness and willingness to be open and honest about their needs and challenges – was very impressive.”
“There is a need and a desire for improved and expanded technology for both the City and the County,” says Pat Savage, Vice President for Technical Support Services, Inc. “Procuring an integrated system that provides that will be an excellent foundation for the new government and can be an unifying agent in the process.”
One thing the team found very surprising – but very encouraging – is that representatives from both the City and County identified very similar needs and visions, which will make it easier in the long run to identify the advanced technologies that will serve our community.
During their visit, they met with: County Officials and the Mayor; the City and County Chief Administrative Officers and the Technology, Human Resources, and Finance Departments; Macon Police Department and Bibb County Sheriff’s Office; Inspection and Fees Department; Economic and Community Development; the Macon-Bibb County Fire Department and Emergency Management Agency; the City Attorney’s Office; and the Crime Lab.