Calif. commission pushes for new tech division

California needs to establish a new technology division and consolidate and standardize platforms across state government, a gubernatorial commission is recommending.

The recommendations were among the 1,200 contained in the four-volume California Performance Review report delivered to the governor Tuesday.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger established the commission in February asked it to recommend how to reform and revitalize California in the face of the staggering budget shortfalls experienced by the state in recent years.

The commission's recommendations have the potential to save California $32 billion over the next five years.

The commission noted that the flexibility and productivity of the state's government has been severely restricted by fundamental technology policy failures.

The report catalogs a series of missteps in regard to technology that range from an ability to report current or historical information and continued use of incompatible systems to an ongoing lack of appreciation for the value of technology improvements and mismanagement of high-profile contracts.

'Despite California's status as the sixth largest economy in the world and the birthplace of the tech revolution, the state government uses no common technology standards and cannot exchange information between'or even within'its departments,' the commission wrote.

To achieve the level of productivity needed to successfully perform government functions, the commission recommended the state consolidate and align the management of state information technology, use technology to support California's citizens and businesses, and standardize technology platforms to efficiently manage common, internal business functions.

As for the new technology division, the governor would appoint a new state technology officer who would be accountable to the CIO for the division's compliance with the state's technology strategic plans, policies, standards and performance measures.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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