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President Office — Press Release


February 5, 2014

CONTACT: Britton Alexander, (850) 487-5184,
Katie Betta, (850) 487-5229

State Technology Legislation Passes First Senate Committee

Joint House and Senate Priority Bill Develops Information Technology Governance Strategy for State Government

Tallahassee —

The Florida Senate Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability, chaired by Senator Jeremy Ring (D-Margate), today introduced and unanimously passed Senate Proposed Bill 7024, State Technology. Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) and House Speaker Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel) recently announced developing an information technology strategy for state government as a component of their joint House and Senate Work Plan 2014 5-point agenda.

“Florida has the distinguished position of being the only large state in the union without a state Chief Information Officer or centralized Information Technology organization,” said President Gaetz. “We continue to miss opportunities to capitalize on enterprise-wide technology solutions and are failing to properly execute technology projects that would deliver much-needed services and cost savings to Floridians.”

“Without a centralized Information Technology management structure or Chief Information Officer to guide implementation and management of enterprise technology projects and systems, many of our state’s most significant Information Technology decisions end up being made in silos by the various legislative budget subcommittees or within individual agencies, resulting in duplicative solutions to similar business needs,” said Senator Ring. “Given the increasing reliance on technology to perform all government services, the significant taxpayer resources committed to Information Technology each year, and the very real concerns over the security of government systems and the data they contain, Florida can no longer afford to have decentralized management of Information Technology resources.”

SB 7024 replaces the now-unfunded Agency for Enterprise Information Technology with the Agency for State Technology, as an executive agency administratively housed within the Department of Management Services. The legislation also creates a Chief Information Officer, appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate, to provide leadership in the areas of enterprise-wide technology solutions, strategic planning, information technology policy, security, technology procurements, and the operation and maintenance of centralized equipment.

Beginning January 1, 2015, the Agency for State Technology will perform project oversight services for any state agency project with a total project cost of $10 million or more, and any projects that affect multiple agencies and have a total project cost of $50 million or more initiated by Cabinet agencies. The legislation further directs the Agency for State Technology to provide best practices for Information Technology procurement and review all Information Technology purchases with a total cost of $250,000 or more.

The Senate legislation funds the Agency for State Technology with $2.9 million in recurring General Revenue and $2.1 million in non-recurring General Revenue. The entire agency will have 251 positions including: 226 positions transferred with the consolidation of the existing Northwood and Southwood data centers, 16 positions transferred from the former Agency for Enterprise Information Technology, and nine new positions.

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