NC names CIO to replace Webb

North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt didn't have to go too far to find a replacement for outgoing state chief information officer Rick Webb — he chose his second-in-command, Ronald Hawley.

Hawley, who served as the chief operating officer of the Office of Information Technology Services (ITS), said he would build on the work Webb has begun.

"I think we've pointed ourselves in the right direction, and now it's time to get moving," he said. Much of the groundwork for larger changes — such as enterprisewide e-government services — has begun and will continue to be implemented, he said.

The state has been an innovator in e-government under Webb's direction. Last week, the state signed two contracts, allowing any state agency to accept electronic payments on the state World Wide Web portal, NC @ Your Service. The state also launched on Monday its new customizable Web portal.

Hawley said that by being inside the department, he would have a head start when he takes over Sept. 1. "I've watched and learned from Rick and know the component pieces of the division," he said.

He said his focus will be on government efficiency and cost savings. "We want to provide services that allow government to become more like a business in the way it deals with customers," he said.

Hawley has worked with the state for his entire 27-year career. Before working at ITS, he served as the Justice Department's acting CIO. There, he managed the department's new information technology organization. He also was an assistant director with the State Bureau of Investigation as manager of the division of criminal information.

Webb announced late last month that he is accepting a position with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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