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March 29, 2001
Contact: Tim Woodhull



California State University, Dominguez Hills professor helps make certain technology countywide is up and running

Textbooks, research papers, and stacks of reports swamp Raoul Freeman in his third-floor office at California State University, Dominguez Hills. So do his considerable responsibilities: Freeman not only chairs Computer Information Systems at the campus in Carson, he is chair of the 10-member Information Systems Commission. Appointed by the county Board of Supervisors, the panel is responsible for overseeing the county’s technology efforts that total $675 million per year.

Freeman has served as chair the past seven years. It is familiar territory: Before arriving at Dominguez Hills, he served as CIO/Assistant Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, and was CEO of Systems Applications Inc. But, neither compares with the size of the task he now faces.

“It’s a massive operation,” Freeman says. “We scrutinize every area to make certain that Los Angeles County is at the ready to continue serving the public. And, that charge keeps us busy.”

Los Angeles County is one of the nation's largest counties with 4,081 square miles - an area some 800 square miles larger than the combined area of the states of Delaware and Rhode Island – dwell in 88 cities. All of them contract to varying degrees with the county for municipal services that range from law enforcement, property assessment, tax collection, public health protection, and public social services to relief for indigents, flood control, water conservation, parks and recreation, and cultural activities.

And, nearly all those agencies rely on high technology to meet the needs of the people, requiring oversight by the Information Systems Commission that Freeman heads.

They meet monthly in downtown Los Angeles to address the myriad issues that keep them busy. This year, their agenda is again full.

For example, when the new system for welfare delivery ran into difficulties, Commissioners started to monitor the effort and provide counsel.  The commission recommended overhauling the huge system with installation of four new mainframe computers, hundreds of work- stations, and a new database projected to cost more than  $120 million.

In another critical area, it examined job reclassification for county employees who run information technology. The commission concluded that new classifications and compensation are needed to retain the expertise required to keep the technology operating.

Other issues under review are improvement of data security, consolidation of data centers, telecommunications planning, improved cooperation between the 30 county departments, and keeping information systems compatible.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Tim Woodhull, director, Media Relations, at (3120) 243-3367.