Arizona CIO dies

Arthur Ranney Jr., Arizona's chief information officer for the past year, died March 30. He was 60.

Susan Patrick, a spokeswoman for the Government Information Technology Agency, which was headed by Ranney, said he passed away at a hospice after "an unexpected turn in his health."

"He understood the unique opportunity he had for making government work better, faster and more efficiently through using technology," Patrick said Monday. "Not afraid to rock the apple cart, Art's big wins in technology were significant wins in increasing efficiency across government for the state of Arizona."

In addition to leading GITA (gita.state.az.us), Ranney also coordinated the state's efforts in dealing with the Year 2000 computer problem. During his stint as CIO, he spearheaded the Project and Investment Justification process, which saved the state $90 million over the past three years, and received an award from the National Association of State Information Resource Executives in 1999, Patrick said.

During his tenure, the state announced a multimillion-dollar project called Telecommunications Open Partnerships for Arizona that would provide 87 communities in mostly rural areas with a public, high-speed telecommunications network. Most recently, the state unveiled a multimillion-dollar contract with IBM Corp. to redesign the state's Web site.

"Arizona has made tremendous progress in government information technology, and Art has been at the center of that," said Francie Noyes, press secretary for Gov. Jane Dee Hull. "The governor knows what a contribution he made to the state."

Prior to becoming CIO, Ranney served at the Arizona Board of Regents, the Governor's Office for Excellence in Government and the Governor's Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting.

Born and educated in Little Rock, Ark., he was a certified public accountant with 16 years' experience in auditing, accounting and finance. He also had 22 years' experience in information technology.

GITA deputy director Rick Zelznak is expected to become Arizona's next CIO and director of GITA, according to Patrick.

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