The ongoing implementation of county ERP software prompted a close commission vote on whether to retain the services of the longtime CIO. After a contentious hearing, High was ultimately removed from the role.
Harris County, Texas, CIO Bruce High was relieved of duty following a contentious hearing and a 3-2 vote by county commissioners earlier this month.
Tensions ran high during the Sept. 15 virtual proceedings, and focused on the troubled implementation of a new county enterprise resource management system from PeopleSoft.
High had served the county government since 2006 and oversaw several large technology undertakings, including the 2010 launch of a county LTE network for first responders.
In 2014, High was recognized as one of Government Technology’s Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers for his contributions to regional government.
During the meeting, High said the ERP project in question had stabilized under the expected timeframe and that the county was ready to move forward with “the new reporting and the efficiencies that come with it.”
“We’ve opened the road, we’ve opened the project, we’ve opened ERP,” High said. “Now we’re going to apply the efficiencies that are necessary in the reporting. There’s no sense in writing reports before you have any data in the system.”
Commissioner R. Jack Cagle spoke in defense of the CIO's efforts, saying the migration of county databases marked a “massive task” that was “always going to have a few little bumps.”
During an executive session, commissioners tapped Rick Noriega to serve as the interim CIO. According to his LinkedIn page, Noriega was formerly CEO of Ronald McDonald House Houston, a nonprofit that serves families with seriously ill children.
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