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Harkness slams CyberTek, calls for county IT official

Harrison County maintenance employee Doug Harkness took aim at CyberTek, the county’s IT provider, at the county’s board of commissioners meeting Monday, April 16.
Harkness addressed the board at the end of the meeting when chairman James Goldman asked if anyone in the audience wanted to speak about any issues.
Harkness said CyberTek has been very deficient in what it provides for the county.
‘They’re deficient enough right now not to be our IT provider,’ he said.
Harkness pointed to the television screens in the council/commissioner room and asked if they worked (they don’t) and why not.
‘Who’s supposed to hook them up?’ he asked.
‘I guess CyberTek,’ Commissioner Carl (Buck) Mathes said.
Harkness said there’s more issues than that and he believes CyberTek bit off more than it can chew.
Goldman said the board, along with James L. Shireman Inc. (construction company in charge of the government renovation project), have investigated the issue and will continue to do so.
‘I get the feeling no one is wanting to step up to the plate to make a decision,’ Harkness said. ‘If it was left untouched by me, I’m not sure anything would happen.’
Goldman said he didn’t think that was correct.
‘Anything we do, we have to make sure we do a thorough investigation with all parties involved,’ Goldman said.
He said he agreed with Harkness about some of the work not being completed, but some of it was the fault of other contractors, not only CyberTek.
‘Do you see CyberTek as our vender in the future?’ Harkness asked.
Goldman said he couldn’t say either way.
‘I’m not going to sit here, have knee-jerk reaction and start slamming somebody, throw them under the bus,’ he said. ‘I’m not going to do it.’
Harkness said the contract with CyberTek was made in July, so he didn’t think it would be a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to deal with it.
‘I feel like I’m beating my head against the wall trying to figure out why this is not being dealt with,’ Harkness said.
Goldman said there’s still work being completed on the project, both at the justice center and the courthouse.
Harkness’ solution, he said, would be to hire a county employee to take care of IT work throughout county offices.
In November, the board of commissioners agreed to bid IT services for 2012, and it has interviewed three other IT service providers since, Mathes said.
Mathes also assured Harkness that his concerns will be placed in the meeting minutes for public access.