Troup County Commissioners on Tuesday may settle on a solution to tie all the county courts’ and sheriff’s department’s disparate software systems together.
“Troup County has been using the same court technology for more than 20 years,” said Mike Dobbs, the county’s special-purpose, local-option sales tax coordinator. “The current maintenance fee is … more than $100,000 annually.”
For the last five years, county officials have wrestled with software used by different courts and the sheriff’s department that are not compatible with each other. That means a lot of information that has to be manually entered into multiple systems as it is transferred among departments.
For instance, if a person is arrested by the sheriff’s department, an arrest report is typed into the sheriff’s software system. When the case is forwarded to the district attorney or solicitor’s office, the report then has to again be manually typed into their software system for prosecution, as well as the clerk of court’s software system.
Any time a report needs to be forwarded to a different department, or received from another agency, software incompatibility means that hard copies will have to be manually re-typed. The county has sought a solution to allow reports to be electronically transferred, eliminating the need for multiple re-typing of the same report an increase in chance of errors.
County officials felt the best way to tackle the problem would be middleware, which would act as an intermediary between the different system used by departments. Essentially, the middleware would translate documents from the various software systems to allow them to be transferred from one system to another.
In October 2011, commissioners approved paying $28,000 to South Carolina-based Fivepoint Solutions to conduct a study on the best way to integrate systems, which was completed last year. After the county solicited bids in October, Fivepoint also placed a bid on offering middleware for the county.
The county received two bids for software, the second from Illinois-based Integrated Software System. The bid from ISS was the lowest, at a total $522,086 to install the software and needed upgrades, more than $233,469 lower than FivePoints’ bid.
Mike Locascio, CEO of ISS, was at Friday’s commission work session and said that his company has twice received national awards and worked with many governments for similar projects.
“We want to do more business in Georgia, and we’ll bend over backwards to do business with you,” he told commissioners.
Commissioners are set to vote on the bid at Tuesday’s commission meeting.