City to look at information technology needs for departmentsPublished 12:26am Sunday, August 12, 2012
NATCHEZ — City officials and department heads will soon start digging through last year’s expenses to prepare a new budget for the next fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1.
Natchez Information Technology Director Eric Junkin has been charged with assisting the city’s department heads identify their IT expenses for the fiscal year, which will be a new aspect of the budgeting process.
Mayor Butch Brown asked Junkin to help the department heads identify IT expenses at an IT retreat Friday with Junkin and the Mayor’s Advisory Committee for Technology.
Junkin said he will help the department heads sort out the IT expenses so the city can have an idea of what it needs to budget for IT expenses in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
Ward 3 Alderwoman Sarah Smith, who also attended the retreat, said Junkin’s assistance would help the department heads get their goals in mind before budgeting.
“You have to have your goals in your department before you do your budget,” Smith said.
The decision, Junkin said, has not yet been made on whether each department will have a budget line for IT expenses or the city will have one IT budget for all city IT expenses.
Junkin said he thinks there are obvious items in the budget that are going to be moved to the IT budget, such as the phone system and Internet connections.
Junkin said he would be in favor of a citywide IT budget that included every department’s IT expenses, but he said he is not sure if that can be implemented for the next fiscal year.
Advisory committee member Ginny Benoist said going forward it would be critical for Junkin to review IT purchases before they are made, review the possibility of repurposing equipment and looking at a plan to make things consistent.