Legislative Analyst's Office
February 22, 1995

Department of Finance (8860)

Information Technology Oversight to be Transferred

We withhold recommendation on $2 million proposed to fund the operations of the Office of Information Technology (OIT), pending receipt and review of a plan to create a new Office of the Chief Information Officer.

The proposed budget includes $2 million to fund the operations of the OIT, an office which has both broad and specific responsibilities to ensure the state's effective uses of IT.

Three Separate Reports Review Performance of the OIT. In the spring and summer of 1994, we issued reports on the state's use of information technology. We concluded that several fundamental problems inhibit state departments from making the most effective use of information technology. We also concluded that the OIT had failed to fulfill its responsibilities and recommended the enactment of legislation transferring the responsibility for statewide information technology to a new organization reporting directly to the Governor. In September 1994, the Governor's Task Force on Government Technology Policy and Procurement issued a report which found that the OIT "does not add significant value in either IT advocacy or oversight." The task force recommended that the office be eliminated in favor of a new agency headed by a cabinet-level Chief Information Officer (CIO) who would report directly to the Governor. Finally, in December 1994, the Bureau of State Audits released a report that found that the OIT " . . . has been ineffective in its role of providing statewide leadership." The report recommended the elimination of the office and the creation of a new cabinet-level office headed by a CIO.

Governor Indicates OIT to be Eliminated. In his 1995-96 Governor's Budget Summary, the Governor proposes to hire a CIO in early 1995, who will be a senior member of his administration. According to the budget summary, the CIO will be responsible to design a new Office of the State Chief Information Officer, which by July 1, 1995 will inherit the responsibilities of the OIT. The summary indicates that funding for the new CIO's operations will be redirected from existing resources, and that the CIO will present a fiscal plan for the office to the Legislature prior to the May Revision.

Pending the receipt and review of that plan, we withhold recommendation on the $2 million proposed for the OIT.

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