- Associated Press - Thursday, July 31, 2014

PERU, Ind. (AP) - A northern Indiana prosecutor has harshly criticized other officials in his county for not adequately dealing with computer problems that have effectively brought some business to a halt.

Some Miami County business, including its courts, can continue while the county government’s computer servers remain down, but personal calendars remain unavailable, traffic tickets are piling up and even child support payments aren’t being sent out, Prosecutor Bruce Embrey told The Peru Tribune for a story Thursday.

“It’s happened far too often,” Embrey said. “There are too many excuses. There can’t be any more excuses. There has to be a fix this time.”

Board of Commissioners Vice Chairman Larry West said he hoped the county’s servers would be fully operational by Monday morning and that the commissioners were working on a long-term solution.

The week-old server crash is the third this year in the county about 80 miles north of Indianapolis.

The commissioners sent a letter to department heads and elected officials Wednesday saying they could not determine “exactly when the system will be operational.” It said a company that worked to extract some information from the servers informed the county “the entire array must now be rebuilt from scratch and all servers restored from backup.”

An audit of the county’s information technology services completed July 18 found several problem, including outdated software and insufficient storage space.

West said the county’s two-person information technology staff were working nearly around the clock to get the servers back up and running, and some departments, including payroll and emergency management, were back online Thursday.

“Certainly, we’re all frustrated. I understand the frustration. We’ve become so dependent on technology and the use of computer equipment,” West said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

“There is a limited staff of IT people here in the county, and when these issues come up, they’re overwhelmed with them,” West said.

West said the company that performed the audit, Thorntown-based Government Utilities Technology Service, has told the commissioners the design of the computer system was a problem in itself. West said the commissioners have asked the company to recommend long-term changes in hardware, software and IT staffing. The company’s proposal is due in two or three weeks.