When Travis County, Texas, lost CIO Joe Harlow to retirement last month, it wasn't apparent a replacement would be needed. The county initially planned to hire an outside consultant to assess the county's IT department, but the price tag convinced commissioners to vote 4-0 on Aug. 28 to hire a new permanent CIO, reported statesman.com.

Travis County will likely still hire an outside consultant after the new CIO is hired, County Judge Sam Biscoe said, but a $375,000 bid from an IT consultancy to run the department for nine months was steep enough to delay the purchase. Such a bid represents almost three times the salary of the county's former CIO.

County officials have been considering outside help for more about 18 months because of “data glitches,” reported statesman.com. "The nature of county government is such that the IT department is really working for a dozen or more elected offices," said Lonnie Hunt, a spokesman for the Texas Association of Counties. "It is challenge for IT departments to meet all these needs. And in some cases, they can't."

The city of Austin is the county seat of Travis County and the county had a population of about 1 million during the 2010 census.

What's a government CIO worth? Check out a story about IT salaries in government.