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Washington County committee approves funding for contract management software

Zach Vance • Mar 16, 2017 at 7:30 AM

Washington County’s Budget Committee is recommending the county spend $18,500 on software for better record-keeping.

On Wednesday the committee backed buying a branded software, called Agiloft, that’s designed to keep an electronic record of leases, contracts, economic incentives and other obligations.

“It’s just a management tool that is going to allow us to manage contracts that we have with various agencies,” said Washington County Mayor Dan Eldridge. “It will allow us to manage the economic development incentive agreements (and) leases the county has with third parties. It’s essentially contract management software.”

Along with electronic record-keeping, the software includes a “tickler system” that reminds users of milestones and time-sensitive events related to agreements.

“Whether it’s reporting the county has to make or that is to be made back to the county, it gives us a heads-up on renewal dates and any other filing requirements we may have,” Eldridge said.

The software would be especially beneficial to new county employees or office holders.

Eldridge provided an example of searching for a contract between the Washington County Detention Center and the United States Marshals Service signed before he took office.

“This will help us manage the transition from office holder to office holder. When you get a new official, for example a new mayor, all of the new information can be a little overwhelming,” Eldridge said. “Now, we’re actually going to have a system that will contain all this information and provide us with the dates when action is required.”

The Nakatetsu Machining Technologies and Koyo Corporation of USA payment in lieu of tax, or PILOT, agreements were other examples of instances when the software would have been advantageous.

In December, the Johnson City Press reported two Japanese auto parts companies had not filed annual employment reports with the county until seven years after the agreement stated the reports should have first been filed.

Staff attorney Brett Mayes said the county tested other software programs before determining Agiloft was best suited for the staff’s needs.

To maintain the necessary licenses and upkeep, Mayes estimated Agiloft would cost approximately $1,400 a year after the first year.

Other Wednesday budget approvals included $25,608 for a new full-time secretary and $130,000 in cost overage for the extension of sewer service to David Crockett High School.

Before the meeting’s conclusion, Eldridge expressed concern to the committee about new state auditors completing an audit while his staff is in the midst of a system conversion. 

“My concern is the system conversion is an 18-to-24-month process. It’s a very stressful process on our systems, on our processes and more particularly on our people. They’re having to learn a new operating system, continue to operate at the same time, continue to keep things on schedule and continue to provide services,” Eldridge said. 

“It’s a very stressful time to simultaneously change auditors, bring in an auditing firm that our people are not familiar with. The auditing group from the state comptroller’s office is not familiar with us. We don’t know their processes and they don’t know our processes. It just adds up a layer of stress and complication. Quite frankly, this is not the best year for it.” 

Email Zach Vance at zvance@johnsoncitypress.com. Follow Zach Vance on Twitter at @ZachVanceJCP. Like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/ZachVanceJCP.

 

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