2009-10 Budget Analysis Series: General Government

Office of the Chief Information Officer

Chapter 533, Statutes of 2006 (SB 834, Figueroa), established the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) and formally assigned duties to the state Chief Information Officer. Subsequent legislation expanded the responsibilities of OCIO to include the authority to (1) approve, suspend, and terminate IT projects; (2) establish and enforce state IT plans and policies; and (3) consult with agencies on programmatic needs and IT projects, among other tasks. In 2008–09, the Legislature provided about $7.1 million for support of the OCIO ($4.2 million General Fund, $2.9 million special fund and reimbursements), including funding for 34 positions.

Increased Staff

The Governor’s 2009–10 budget requests an additional $6.4 million ($3.7 million General Fund), nearly doubling the OCIO budget, to fund 28 new permanent positions and external contracts for enterprise architecture and procurement consulting services. The requested positions would provide staff for newly created offices, including Legislative Affairs, Enterprise Architecture, Human Capital, Geospatial Services, and Project Management.

Insufficient Justification. Given the state’s fiscal condition, we recommend that the Legislature generally not support augmentations for new program activities unless they can be clearly demonstrated to result in significant and timely offsetting savings. Most of the positions requested do not meet this criterion and we therefore recommend that they be rejected.

We do find, however, that the administration’s request for four project managers to build a project management office has merit. The administration plans to loan these staff to various departments in order to manage ongoing IT projects. Hiring permanent staff to perform project management duties would alleviate, in part, the need to outsource these positions. It would also begin to build a pool of effective state project managers. Establishment of a project management office should lead to reduced risks and costs for IT projects.

Another budget proposal also warrants further consideration by the Legislature. The budget proposes three positions and about $400,000 for the Geospatial Services office, which would collect and maintain geographic information data, among other tasks. We note that the OCIO has received a $1.3 million federal grant from the Department of Homeland Security for geospatial information system development. Before dedicating General Fund monies to this office, the OCIO should advise the Legislature as to whether federal funds from this $1.3 million grant are available to support these positions in lieu of General Fund support.

We recommend approving $500,000 and 4 project management positions and rejecting the remaining request of 21 positions and $5.9 million. We withhold recommendation on the three positions for the Geospatial Services office pending receipt of additional information pertaining to the availability of federal funds to support these activities.

Education Data and Information Act of 2008

The budget requests $2 million (General Fund) and one position to fulfill activities required by Chapter 561, Statutes of 2008 (SB 1298, Simitian), known as the Education Data and Information Act of 2008. Chapter 561 requires activities by various state entities, including the Chancellor’s Office of CCC, UC, CSU, the State Department of Education, LAO, and OCIO. The intent of Chapter 561 is to link data systems in the above education organizations and systems currently under development, such as the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System and the California Longitudinal Teacher Integrated Data Education System, to create an integrated statewide information system for education. Chapter 561 requires OCIO convene a workgroup and advisory committee and deliver a strategic plan to the Legislature by September 1, 2009 on the design of a linked education data system.

Implementation of Chapter 561. Our office has been supportive of efforts to improve the state’s educational data systems. Currently, OCIO has no staff to absorb the additional activities mandated by Chapter 561. Given the state’s fiscal condition, however, committing the requested General Fund resources for a strategic plan at this time may not be the Legislature’s highest priority. (The Legislature’s fiscal analyses at the time of Chapter 561’s passage indicated much lower costs to implement the legislation.) We understand that the pending federal economic stimulus package may contain funds for states to implement education data systems, such as envisioned by Chapter 561. We therefore withhold recommendation on the administration’s proposal pending more information on the availability of federal funds.

Reorganization Plan

On January 16, 2009, the Governor announced that he will submit a Governor’s Reorganization Plan (GRP) to consolidate state IT resources under the OCIO. The plan will include moving the information security component of the Office of Information Security and Privacy Protection and the Department of Technology Services (both currently located in the State and Consumer Services Agency) and the Telecommunications Division of the Department of General Services (DGS) under the leadership of the OCIO. The Governor states that the GRP would result in increased coordination and more efficient use of IT resources.

Awaiting Further Details. At the time this analysis was prepared, the GRP had not been released. We will provide the Legislature with added information as details become available.

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