Apparently, running Atlantic City without dedicated IT staff has become a losing bet for the municipal government's bottom line.

An audit from the New Jersey Office of the State Comptroller released Wednesday, Jan. 27, urges the city -- best known as an East Coast gambling destination -- to develop an IT strategic plan that would determine how technology services are delivered. No such plan currently exists.

According to the study, for the past five years Atlantic City has spent nearly $2.5 million on outsourcing its IT operations to a subcontractor of the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The contract handles the city's PCs, network and servers, and desktop support.

"If the city were instead to hire one or two qualified individuals as staff members to oversee IT operations, it could experience substantial savings and have full-time staff available on a daily basis to all city departments," according to the audit findings.

No one person is currently in charge of the city's IT operations, the audit found. A cross-department committee has been working for the past year and a half on plans that would bring back internal IT staff.

The lack of a governance structure appears to have contributed to IT security problems like missing hardware and improper permissions on the city's active directory, as well as unused new equipment left in boxes.

The technology finding was among a raft of other citywide issues that the audit examined, including the city's payroll system and hiring practices for staff members of the City Council.

 

Matt Williams  |  Associate Editor