GOOD DEEDS: UNANSWERED REGISTRY IT QUESTIONS

Based on the facts and the public policy implications this Registry Information Technology IT controversy should be over.  It is not.  There should be a permanent on-site direct report Registry CIO at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds.  There is not.  There should be no question that the Registry should keep its 2 person on-site direct report in the Registry budget Registry IT Department that includes the aforementioned Registry CIO.


The new twist in this Registry of Deeds saga is that the consultant Mark Abrahams refuses to answer questions about the “Abrahams Report” which has been the foundation on which this Registry CIO and Registry IT Department controversy rests.  It only seems right that Mark Abrahams as an “independent” consultant should have to answer questions about his study.


The questions of Mr. Abrahams are not trick questions.  Why did Mr. Abrahams write to the Norfolk County Commissioners NOT to replace a retiring Registry CIO on June 29, 2021?  Why would Mark Abrahams write such a recommendation when he had not ever visited the Registry of Deeds to make any observations of Registry operations including the Registry IT Department in his 13 month study?  Why did Mark Abrahams recommend NOT hiring a Registry CIO when Mr. Abrahams had not spoken to the person tasked with running the Registry of Deeds by state law or the management team at the Registry of Deeds?  Why did Mark Abrahams recommend NOT hiring a Registry CIO without talking with or finding out the perspectives of those that use the Registry IT Information Technology services?


Mark Abrahams got paid taxpayers money to do this report.  There have been many flaws found in the Abrahams study.  There are flaws in process, substance, findings and conclusions as it relates to the Norfolk Registry of Deeds that have been written about since Mr. Abrahams concluded his 13 month study in October 2021.  Mr. Abrahams with the input of influential county decision makers chose Plymouth and Bristol Counties to be benchmarks for Norfolk County.  Mark Abrahams mistakenly wrote that these Registries DO NOT have Registry IT Departments.  Mark Abrahams was wrong.  Is this why Mr. Abrahams does NOT want to answer questions?  How do you get that fact wrong in the 13 months you were doing a report?


If the Registries of Deeds in Plymouth and Bristol have on-site direct report Registry IT Departments then shouldn’t that end all this controversy in Norfolk County?  The Registries of Deeds in Plymouth and Bristol do have on-site Registry IT Departments and Mr. Abrahams’ mistake in facts was challenged and corrected.  The Norfolk Registry of Deeds should have a permanent Registry CIO as part of an on-site permanent direct report Registry IT Department just like the Norfolk Registry of Deeds has had for over 35 years.


Mark Abrahams writes information requested “will be unduly burdensome for me.”  There will NOT be a modern functioning technology driven Norfolk Registry of Deeds without an on-site direct report Registry CIO and Registry IT Technology Department.  This will be “unduly burdensome” on Registry operations and on those Registry stakeholders that depend on Registry of Deeds services.  Everyone who owns a home whose legal title to that home is authenticated by the real estate records secured at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds could be negatively impacted.  Does Mark Abrahams’ “burden” to answer questions about his study outweigh the homeowners and business owners who in essence paid Mr. Abrahams to do his study?


Some have expressed disbelief that Mark Abrahams is now doing additional consulting work for Norfolk County.  Mr. Abrahams wrote in his study that almost all individuals spoken to did not favor keeping the Registry IT Department as is.  Who are these individuals?  These individuals were unnamed in the Abrahams Report.  Were these individuals influential county decision makers?  When and why were these individuals spoken to?  How come key Registry of Deeds personnel were NOT spoken to?  Why were those that use the Registry of Deeds services not spoken to by Mark Abrahams?  These are not trick questions.  These questions go the substance of the Registry IT controversy and seek the truth.


Mark Abrahams’ report is the foundation for those who do not want the Registry to keep its Registry IT Department.  It does not make sense for transparent and sound public policy for Mark Abrahams not to want to answer questions relating to his report.  Based on the facts the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds should have a permanent Registry CIO.  It does not.  Based on the facts the Norfolk Registry of Deeds should keep its permanent Registry IT Department no matter what some paid consultant writes. It is such an unsound public policy decision NOT to keep the on-site direct report Registry IT Department.  There are too many bad outcomes on Registry of Deeds operations and services.  Additionally, there is the ever increasing risks of cybersecurity breaches and ransomware.


On behalf of the Registry staff and Registry users along with all who rely on Registry operations and services I thank you for your patience as well as your support.


 


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The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds will be closed on Thursday, July 4th in celebration of Independence Day. We are open Friday, July 5th.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is closed Today, July 4th in celebration of Independence Day. We are open Friday, July 5th.