- Associated Press - Sunday, April 10, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah’s parole board may need millions of dollars to digitize its handwritten record-keeping system.

Officials hope an electronic system will keep critical information from slipping through the cracks and improve transparency, the Salt Lake Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/1VKvBmt).

State auditors recommended the change last month.

Utah Board of Pardons and Parole member Chyleen Arbon says the upgrade will likely take several years and cost more than the board’s entire budget.

“This is kind of a long-term thing and an expensive thing that we’re hoping people will help us do because we don’t have the money ourselves,” she told the Utah Sentencing Commission on Wednesday.

Federal grants or state funding could be pursued to support the transition.

She said it’s unclear how much the system would cost, but that she’s seen prices ranging up to $10 million.

“We’d like a good system and not, you know, a $2,000 junky car that we retrofit over the years,” she said.

The department just recently got wireless Internet, “which is really sad to say, but it’s true,” Arbon said.

She said other audit recommendations are being addressed or have already been implemented.

Transitioning to digital records “is the main thing that we cannot do alone,” she said.

The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Technology Services will be asked to help establish a cost estimate before the board requests bids.


Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, https://www.sltrib.com

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