Changes in IT management lead review

On Feb. 10, less than three months after he took office, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an executive order for a sweeping review of state operations to try to restore fiscal responsibility to California government.

The initiative, known as the California Performance Review, calls for reorganizing the executive branch, reassessing programs and budget processes, re-emphasizing service and productivity and reforming acquisition processes.

About 240 volunteers, mostly from California state government, are conducting the review. They are divided into 11 teams, one of which is reviewing statewide information technology governance and strategy.

Most of the other teams' recommendations will have IT implications and components, said Clark Kelso, California's chief information officer. "Not everything is going to come from the IT team," he said.

Co-executive directors Billy Hamilton, deputy comptroller of public accounts for Texas, and Chon Gutierrez, interim director of the California Motor Vehicles Department, are leading the review. Hamilton led a similar performance review for Texas that enabled the state to save between $3 billion and

$4 billion during its two-year budget cycle.

The California Performance Review recommendations are due June 30. Schwarzenegger has not said when he will begin the executive branch reorganization or implement recommendations from the review.

Although he is not a member of the review's IT team, Kelso has asked the team to examine the state's overall IT governance strategy and make recommendations for its improvement. He also has asked it to review and re-evaluate the state's priorities for its Web portal, enterprise resource planning software and telecommunications.

Kelso declined to discuss other issues the team is examining. "Until we know what issues are really going to appear in the final report, we don't want to telegraph too much," he said.

It is unlikely that all the teams' recommendations will be included in the final performance review report, he said.

"We've asked the people participating to go out on a limb and think creatively," Kelso said. "Not everything they are working on is going to make it, because there is an evaluation process where things are weeded out."

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