Macomb County Information Technology Budget Set to Increase 16% – Macomb Daily

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The increase in IT maintenance and license contract costs along with the addition of three positions represents a 16.4% increase to Macomb County’s proposed information technology budget in 2023.

Jako van Blerk, chief information officer, presented his budget proposal last week which had been approved by county manager Mark Hackel and was sent to the county board of commissioners for final approval.

Much of the nearly $2 million increase from $12.6 million to $14.5 million is due to a jump from $5.5 million to $6.8 million in a total of 10 areas of spending for maintenance and licensing, according to van Blerk and budget documents. Among the biggest increases are Microsoft licenses, $178,000, and Axon Co. for a new digital evidence system in the county attorney’s office, $166,000, van Blerk said. Other increases range from $10,000 to $81,000. IT supports the maintenance of electoral systems and electoral software/voting machines; an amount was not provided.

Van Blerk is also looking for three new full-time positions to bring his department’s staff to 40.5 employees at a total cost of $340,000. Two of the new positions would be for network support for the county’s internal computer network. The salary range for the job is $53,500 to $67,500.

The positions are needed to “strengthen our support staff,” van Blerk told the board.

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He noted in documents that the annual number of “tickets,” or requests for technology assistance from county employees, has more than doubled in the past five years, from 5,900 to 12,400 from 2015 to 2021.

IT also pays a business system analyst for growing technology in the attorney’s office. The position, which pays between $62,500 and $79,000, was added earlier this year and is included in the 2023 spending plan.

“The prosecutor’s office has a bit of technology,” van Blerk said, citing a new digital evidence system and a new case management system coming next year.

The IT budget includes general salary increases which should be at least 5%.

IT is one of the many departments for which large increases are planned in the proposed budget. The largest increases are in the Finance Department, 30%; County Executive Office, 25%; Michigan State University Cooperative Extension, 22%; and Corporation Counsel, 16.6%, according to Utica Commissioner Jeff Farrington.

The board is holding budget hearings, with an approval vote expected before Dec. 1.

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