Politics | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Senate Passes Information Technology Governance Strategy

By: Florida House; Florida Senate Email
By: Florida House; Florida Senate Email

News Release: Florida Senate
Updated: May 2, 2014

Tallahassee–The Florida Senate today passed House Bill 7073, relating to Information Technology Governance. Developing an information technology strategy for state government is a component of the joint House and Senate Work Plan 2014 agenda championed by Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) and House Speaker Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel).

“Florida has the unfortunate distinction of being the only large state without a centralized Information Technology organization,” said President Gaetz. “As a result and at a great cost to the taxpayer, state government has failed to properly implement and manage essential technology projects,” said President Gaetz. “This legislation will help our state better coordinate the structure and delivery of information technology systems and provide for better protection of these systems and the data they contain.”

HB 7073 creates the Agency for State Technology, as an executive agency administratively housed within the Department of Management Services. The legislation also creates a Chief Information Officer, appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate, to provide leadership in the areas of enterprise-wide technology solutions, strategic planning, information technology policy, security, technology procurements, and the operation and maintenance of centralized equipment.

Beginning January 1, 2015, the Agency for State Technology will perform project oversight services for any state agency project with a total project cost of $10 million or more, and any projects that affect multiple agencies and have a total project cost of $25 million or more and are initiated by Cabinet agencies. The legislation further directs the Agency for State Technology to provide best practices for Information Technology procurement and review all Information Technology purchases with a total cost of $250,000 or more.

For more information on Work Plan 2014, please visit www.FLSenate.gov.


News Release: Florida House

Tallahassee, Fla.—The Florida House of Representatives today unanimously passed HB 7073, establishing an Information Technology (IT) Governance structure for the state. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Florida is the only state in the nation without a Chief Information Officer (CIO) and is currently spending over $733 million per year on IT with no coordinating oversight. This bill provides broad strategic and operational direction, creates a mechanism to ensure appropriate coordination with state agencies, and properly funds the new structure.

“The Florida House is committed to improving the efficiency of our state government and saving taxpayer dollars,” said House Speaker Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel). “This bill will help modernize the state’s IT infrastructure and ensure Florida is no longer the only state in the nation without a Chief Information Officer.”

“This legislation will help bring Florida government into the 21st century by establishing a new, centralized technology agency and a state CIO,” said State Representative Seth McKeel (R-Lakeland), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee and sponsor of the bill. “By increasing coordination between state agencies, our government will run more efficiently and save taxpayers money.”

The bill creates the Agency for State Technology (AST) within the Department of Management Services (DMS) and establishes an executive director of the agency who serves as the state’s Chief Information Officer, is appointed by the Governor, and is confirmed by the Senate. The bill establishes eleven other positions within the AST: deputy executive director, chief planning officer, six strategic planning coordinators, chief operations officer, chief information security officer, and chief technology officer. The bill also creates the state data center and authorizes a type two transfer of the Northwood and Southwood Shared Resource Centers from DMS to the AST. The duties and responsibilities of the AST include developing and implementing information technology architecture standards, establishing project management and oversight standards, performing project oversight on IT projects with total costs of $10 million or more, providing operational management and oversight of the state data center, identifying opportunities for standardization and consolidation of IT services that support common business functions, recommending additional consolidations of agency data centers or computing facilities, and performing project oversight on any cabinet agency IT project that has a total project cost of $25 million or more and impacts another agency or agencies. The bill appropriates a total of $4.8 million and 27 full-time equivalent positions for Fiscal Year 2014-2015.

In January, House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz announced Work Plan 2014, which included “Improve Government Accountability and Efficiency” as a priority. To read more about Work Plan 2014, please visit the Florida House of Representatives online.


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