Legislative Analyst's Office

Analysis of the 2001-02 Budget Bill

Stephen P. Teale Data Center (2780)

The Stephen P. Teale Data Center (TDC) is one of the state's two general purpose data centers. The other is the Health and Human Services Agency Data Center. The TDC provides a variety of information technology (IT) services to numerous state agencies which reimburse the data center for its operational costs.

The budget proposes $92.4 million from the TDC Revolving Fund for support of the TDC in 2001-02. This is an increase of $2.3 million, or 3 percent, above estimated current year-expenditures. The budget includes a number of increases for workload, the largest of which is a request for $7 million for additional data processing and storage capacity equipment.

Permanent Positions Are Needed to Support Various Data Center Activities

We recommend that the Legislature decrease the Teale Data Center's proposed expenditures for staff overtime by $116,000 and instead authorize five personnel-years to provide (1) ongoing security support for non-mainframe systems and (2) technology assistance on state information technology procurements. (Reduce Item 2780-001-0683 by $116,000.)

The budget proposes an on-going increase of $454,000 for staff overtime. This includes (1) $121,000 to implement and maintain security systems for TDC's nonmainframe systems supporting e-government projects and (2) $333,000 to provide specialized technology assistance for the state's information technology procurements.

The TDC Provides Ongoing Support for Nonmainframe Systems. The TDC's nonmainframe services have grown by 400 percent since 1997. This growth reflects increased costs due to implementation of the Department of Information Technology's (DOIT) Data Center Consolidation initiative and the growth in Internet-based systems. The TDC is responsible for ensuring that these systems have adequate security to prevent unauthorized access. To perform this responsibility, TDC must conduct daily monitoring and intrusion detection checks. In addition, TDC must continue to install and maintain security software and hardware on all nonmainframe systems.

The TDC Provides Technology Expertise on Business-Based Procurements. In an effort to reduce project failures, the DOIT and the Department of Finance have required that procurements for large state IT projects which support critical services be "business based" as opposed to "technology based." This means that the department describes its operations and vendors propose technology solutions to improve those operations. According to TDC, departments and the Department of General Services request TDC staff to act as technical advisors on these large procurement efforts to ensure the proposed technology is sound and has the capacity to meet the state's business requirements. The TDC has never been staffed to perform these functions.

The TDC Should Not Use Overtime for Security Maintenance and Procurement Advisement Tasks. Both of the proposed activities—the security maintenance and the procurement assistance—which TDC proposed to staff through overtime are ongoing in nature. As a result, these functions are more appropriately carried out by permanent departmental staff assigned on a daily basis to perform these functions. An additional advantage is that permanent staff can perform these functions at less cost than overtime, resulting in a expenditure authority reduction of $116,000. For these reasons, we recommend that the Legislature authorize five additional personnel years and decrease TDC's expenditure authority by $116,000 for personnel services. This would leave a total of $338,000 from the original proposal.

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