Michigan governor establishes central IT department

Michigan governor establishes central IT department

Michigan Gov. John Engler is reorganizing the state's information technology workers and hiring a state chief information officer to bring all IT services under one agency. Engler signed Executive Order 2001-3 last week to create the Information Technology Department--Michigan's 20th state agency.

A nationwide search for a state CIO is underway. The department itself will become official Oct. 14.

Previously, agencies managed their own IT services; Engler saw this as becoming too inefficient and costly, said John Rush, a spokesman for the governor's office.

The new CIO will be expected to establish the state's long-term systems plans, manage hardware and software purchases, and administer system security and support. All agency IT personnel will report to the new department, but most will remain in their present jobs within their agencies.

Engler also outlined some new technology priorities:

Cybercourt, a way to provide businesses with an online dispute resolution system

LinkMichigan, a plan to provide broadband access to the Internet for more residents and businesses

Life sciences corridor, a $1 billion state investment in basic research and commercial applications of new technologies.

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