More power to the CIO

Information Services Task Force report

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A task force has told Delaware's Gov. Ruth Ann Minner that the state's chief information officer position needs more authority.

The Information Services Task Force, which Minner appointed, said that the role of the CIO as currently structured "does not have the required stature" and cited "lack of executive-level support." The group said that's the primary reason Delaware has struggled to find its statewide information technology direction.

Minner formed the task force to seek recommendations regarding how the state could improve its management of information and IT. The task force also was to review the organizational structure of the Office of Information Services. The report can be found at www.state.de.us/governor.

In addition to the CIO recommendations, the task force suggested:

  • Creating a Technology Investment Council to evaluate and prioritize statewide IT spending projects.
  • Creating a Department of Technology and Information to function as a "general contractor" between government and industry.
  • Simplifying the funding methods for technology projects.
  • Finding better ways to train and retain technology employees.

"We love the recommendations. Gov. Minner is fully supporting all five," said Michelle Reardon, a spokeswoman for the governor.

"The current acting director of our Office of Information Services is merely a director of an agency," Reardon said. "But by making them the CIO, that would put them at the Cabinet level — at the secretary level — and would give them the authority to oversee all aspects of technological development, broadening their responsibilities."

The task force based its recommendations on about 40 interviews conducted with 95 users and partners of the state's IT systems.

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