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The King County Geographic Information Systems Fund

On December 13, 2001 the King County Council approved ordinance 2001-0555 (enactment 14270) creating the King County Geographic Information Systems Fund. The King County geographic information systems fund operates under the name King County GIS Center (KCGIS Center).

King County Code gives internal service funds full financial and operational responsibility to provide designated services. Agencies receiving services or benefiting from internal service fund activities are required to budget for internal service fund costs. In addition, the KCGIS Center fund is chartered to operate on an entrepreneurial basis—both within the county and externally.

Effective January 1, 2012, the KCGIS Center became part of the King County Department of Information Technology (KCIT). At the same time the KCGIS Center transitioned along with the rest of King County to the new Enterprise Business System (EBS) accounting and financial management system developed as part of the County’s Accountable Business Transformation (ABT) project.

KCGIS Center Funding, Rate Setting, and Billing Methodology

The KCGIS Center segments its operations into three ‘business lines’ (Enterprise GIS Operations, GIS Client Services, and Matrix GIS Staffing Services) each focused on common GIS services and resources. Each business area focuses on the unique value of the specific services offered. Each business line also supports a logical cost allocation methodology to help GIS users understand the basis for individual GIS service cost components. A clear understanding of logical cost components for GIS services allows end user agency managers to make an informed business decision on how to use GIS as a tool for their agency’s operations.

To ensure that customers fully fund appropriate costs, and to ensure the fair allocation of costs for shared services, a detailed budget/rate development spreadsheet is used to account for all planned costs and to determine a rate that will recover sufficient revenue within each business area.

Enterprise GIS Operations (O&M)

The KCGIS Center’s core business line is built around enterprise GIS infrastructure and operation services. Specific enterprise GIS operation services are defined on an annual basis in consultation with the King County GIS Technical Advisory Committee. For KCGIS’ 2015-16 budget years these services will be provided by 11.10 FTEs and include:

  • KCGIS Center management
  • KCGIS governance support (oversight & technical committees, standards & best practices, and annual KCGIS O&M Plan)
  • KCGIS program coordination (agency support & marketing)
  • Regional GIS contact and coordination
  • Spatial Data Warehouse operation and management (SDW administration, content management & metadata management)
  • KCGIS Website management
  • GIS productivity applications development & management (back-end apps, Web front-end apps, & client end-user apps)
  • Data maintenance coordination (coordinate agency data maintenance & QC, external data acquisition & designated enterprise data maintenance)
  • Regional imagery acquisition program
  • GIS-related contract management, including Esri enterprise license agreement and enterprise license management (ELM) based Esri software access
  • Education & Outreach (brownbag training, help desk, custom GIS training class development, regional KCGIS User Group)
  • Coordination of designated countywide priority GIS initiatives.
GIS Client Services

KCGIS Center provides on-demand GIS client services to meet the unique or unanticipated needs of county business units and of external customers. 5.40 FTE will be assigned to client services for 2015-2016.

Once the budget period begins, agencies are billed for GIS client services work after work is completed, or monthly for projects that may extend over two or more months. Agencies can also prepay for GIS client services, establishing an account with the KCGIS Center that can be used to obtain future GIS training, services, or products at the rate in effect when the services are actually provided.

Matrix GIS Staffing Services Unit

KCGIS Center directly manages and/or staffs GIS operations for eight divisions in the County’s Department of Natural Resources and Parks (DNRP), Department of Transportation (DOT), Office of Performance, Strategy and Budget (PSB). and Department of Permitting and Environmental Review (DPER), and offers this service to other departments as well.

Each division designates a GIS matrix manager, who is responsible both for evaluating the level of business need for direct GIS services within their division, and for coordinating the assignment of allocated staff to work on specific projects. 10.95 FTE are budgeted for 2013 and 11.95 FTE for 2014.

KCGIS Center 2015-6 Budget, Rate, and Financial Plan Detail

How To Get More information

Contact Greg Babinski, KCGIS Center Finance & Marketing Manager, via e-mail at, or by phone at 206-477-4402.