Alabama to raise IT profile

Alabama Information Services Division

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CHICAGO — Going into his second year in office, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley plans to sign an executive order within the next few weeks that will reinvigorate the state's Office of Information Technology, Toby Roth, Riley's chief of staff, said yesterday.

The order is necessary to ensure that the state's top IT officials are included in the policy and strategy development within an administration, Roth said at the midyear conference of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers.

"It's required that they are part of the planning process and not just a purchase control," Roth said. "Our goal is to put the IT leadership in that planning process, asking them to look globally" at all of the governor's goals, not just the IT-specific ones.

Although Alabama does not yet have a CIO, the executive order will mandate that the IT office:

Create an annual multiyear plan.

Develop an annual technology and operating budget for IT across all state agencies.

Submit an annual report to the governor and the legislature on how the office is following though on the plan and the budgets.

Review and recommend IT projects.

A big part of all of this planning is to include service and performance metrics for not only the office but also for the IT systems in all of the agencies, focusing on how they support the services that the agencies are providing, Roth said.

"This is not an effort to consolidate.

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