Tuesday, March 15, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY–Governor Mary Fallin today encouraged lawmakers to pass HB 1304, legislation designed to streamline technology systems throughout state government and improve both the efficiency and security of the state’s information technology (IT) systems. Under HB 1304, savings for the state would include the consolidation and streamlining of:
The plan, which was included as part of Fallin’s executive budget, would include implementing a freeze on capital spending in IT that would save taxpayers $50 million in FY 2012. Further consolidating IT resources across state agencies would save an additional $142 million, for a total of $192 million in savings.
“The consolidation of IT resources allows agencies to maintain the quality of the services they provide and in many cases even improve these services at a lesser cost to taxpayers,” said Fallin. “Furthermore, it injects a measure of accountability and fiscal transparency to IT spending and operations that are currently spread out across a number of state agencies. The reforms included in HB 1304 are the embodiment of the smaller, smarter government that conservative lawmakers have been promising our citizens.”
Fallin also announced that several agencies have already agreed to voluntarily implement the streamlining of IT technology and services proposed by the governor.
“I am pleased to announce that I have already received commitments from the departments of agriculture, health, tourism and commerce to voluntarily begin undergoing the consolidation of their IT resources at the suggestion of our CIO. The heads of each one of these agencies has expressed confidence in our plan, and I am grateful to them for working with my administration to improve and modernize our state government,” said Fallin.
Fallin said the legislature should pass the bill quickly so the state can minimize budget cuts to important government agencies.
“If our lawmakers do not pass legislation requiring a freeze on IT capital spending and consolidation of IT resources, the consequences for state government will be significant. The budget I presented in February includes a proposed 3-5 percent cut to most government agencies. In that budget, priority agencies related to public safety, education and health receive the smallest cuts. Without implementing the IT reforms proposed in my executive budget these cuts will increase dramatically, possibly doubling in size. Therefore, pursuing a freeze in expenditures and consolidation in IT is essential if we are going to balance our state budget without deep cuts to key government agencies. It is my hope the legislature acts quickly to pass HB 1304 so we can begin the work of building a more cost-efficient, effective and accountable IT infrastructure in Oklahoma.”