Clark County, Nev., has hired a new CIO, replacing Laura Fucci, who left to become CIO of Henderson, Nev., in mid-November 2012.

Just four months later, on March 19, Louis Carr took over the county’s IT Department. Though he is new to Clark County, Carr is no stranger to the role of CIO, having previously served as CIO of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), and of Arlington, Texas, before that. He also worked for 17 years with the city of Las Vegas.

In his new post, Carr, pictured at left, says he plans to draw on his experience managing large organizations, such as TxDOT, to lead successful IT in Nevada, and he spent his first week on the job listening to his boss and his deputies to gain an understanding of their priorities.

“My style really is to go in and listen to folks, engage with folks, try to understand both from an IT staff perspective and business user staff perspective, what’s working well and what’s not working well,” he said. “And then I assimilate all that information and try to align it.”

If there are commonalities, Carr added, that’s a good place to start. “Where there’s misalignment, I dig a little deeper and try to find where there might be misalignment in terms of what the business users think and what IT thinks, and go through some strategies to get alignment where there’s misalignment.”

Once everyone’s priotities are aligned, the county has several key projects Carr said he will focus on, one of which is a social services case management project that will include a new system scheduled for completion in 2014.

A second project is a public safety system upgrade that will help the county complete tasks such as running criminal background checks – an upgrade Carr said is scheduled to go live later this year. “We’re also looking at some technology refreshes,” he added. “The more reliable we can get the technology, the better we can serve our customer base.”

As for long-term goals, Carr said he wants the county to focus on security, mobility and compliance. His plans? To “get the agency on a refresh cycle for their hardware; [and to] move forward with mobility strategies to support government-everywhere concepts for inspectors, for case workers, building inspectors and public works folks.”

Security is always a concern for government, and the county will continue keeping it in mind, he said, making sure it meets regulatory standards. The county also will maintain compliance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations, which will help the county continue offering social services to its citizens.

Carr said the county also has plans for a regional business license system upgrade that will allow people applying for business licenses around the county to be routed to the correct location, simplifying the process.

Having only spent a few days as CIO, Carr said he doesn’t yet have detailed plans ready to share, but that he intends to have a comprehensive plan within a few months that will focus on mobility and “sustainability from an infrastructure refresh perspective.”

Photo of Louis Carr courtesy of the Texas Department of Transportation

Main photo of Clark County's Las Vegas Strip courtesy of Shutterstock

Colin Wood  |  Staff Writer

Colin has been writing for Government Technology since 2010. He lives in Seattle with his wife and their dog. He can be reached at cwood@govtech.com