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New computer system causes delays at New Hanover County development services

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- In March, New Hanover County's development services implemented a new computer system to get rid of the old, outdated one. But the change comes with some challenges.

"March 3, we went live with a new system to track our development and permit review. The system is called ‘One Solution,’ and it also has a part of the system called GovNow that people who don't work for the county can go and check out information about the projects they are working on,” New Hanover County Planning and Inspections Director Chris O’Keefe said.

The system connects the department with other agencies in the area, making it easier and faster to sign off on projects.

O'Keefe says it is a far cry from the system they were using before from the 90's.

"The old system was green screen based,” he explained. “It looked like what you might have played pong on."

But the modernization is not without problems.

"I can't deny that the transition has been a challenge,” O’Keefe said.

Especially for staff, who had to learn and adapt to the brand new system.

"One of the real setbacks we've had so far is that when you click on a button you've got to wait a little bit and then it advances to the next screen,” he said.

O'Keefe says they are working with the vendor to fix the problems and smooth out the system for customers and staff.

"We need the system to be improved and we are told that it's going to be,” O’Keefe said.

Inspections Manager Dennis Bordeaux says they formed a steering committee that meets weekly, and a users group to tackle the problems.

"You find with any system when you kick it off, well there's things that could be done differently or things could be done better, and that's what we're trying to do,” Bordeaux explained.

O'Keefe expects a new version of the program, which should fix some of the bugs, to come out in less than a month.

He says if you have a problem to let them know, because that's how they identify where the issues are.

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Popular software?

I sure hope the software was something that already had widespread use with other similar government offices. Just like apps...popularity and the test of time goes a long way towards reliability. It would be unfortunate to contend that our local government is so unique, exclusive and worthy of a "newly developed" software system that justifies all the risks of being one of the first users.

Common Sense

Why doesn't the county perform due diligence before purchasing these programs. Time is money except for those in government, down time cost money, not to mention all the meeting needed to fix the bugs. Does anyone remember the tax program that forced serious cutbacks. Let's start holding those accountable for these screw ups. Fire the IT Director, Planning and Inspections Director and the Assistant County Mangers who oversees them. I guarantee that will prevent anyone else from srewing up, that what a business would do Woody!

Not a new issue

They have been working on this for over 2 1/2 years and it will never work correctly. They have had multiple staffers in charge and still the software is flawed. How much did it cost? how much time? and this is what the taxpayers will have to live with. Where is the County managers comments on this??