Wake County Commissioners voted unanimously this week in favor of outsourcing the accounting and human resources system to CGI Technologies and Solutions Inc. for the next 12 years. The contract will cost the county about $28.6 million, but offer a savings of $1 million during the life of the contract.
The county will eliminate seven positions related to the maintenance of the system from the information technology department.
“Through our reduction in force policy, we’ll make every effort to find jobs for those people in other vacant positions in the county,” said Assistant County Manager Johnna Rogers. “We think we have places for everyone to land.”
The Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP) handles all of the financial, budget and human resources aspects of running the county. In 2005, the county spent $11.5 million to update the 20-year-old system; it became fully integrated in 2010.
A county investigation led officials to believe that it would be more financially sound to outsource the long-term and technical maintenance to CGI, the company that issued the original system.
Rogers said CGI would use its own staff to run and maintain the system, which would operate on CGI’s hardware. The contract would cover the cost of upgrades, licenses, hardware and technical support for 12 years.
“I think the biggest thing, from a financial standpoint, is that it fixes our costs for the next 12 years,” said Rogers, adding that it gives the county the ability to predict the cost of the system.
Commissioner Tony Gurley voted for the switch, but not without some questions.
“It just boggles my mind that we’re going to pay $11.5 million plus $28 million,” Gurley said.
Gurley questioned why staff did not look at companies other than CGI. Rogers said that staff is comfortable with CGI and its experience and knowledge of the system. She added that costs would have doubled if the county went with another company.