Maryland lawmakers vote on state IT department

Maryland's House of Delegates approved a bill this week that would create a Department of Information Technology, which would be responsible for technology matters across state agencies. The state Senate has not voted on the bill yet.

Gov. Martin O'Malley introduced the idea of creating a new department, and to make the state's chief information technology officer a member of the governor's executive council.

"Technology is important in the managing of state government and Gov. O'Malley recognized the importance creating better coordination between state offices," said O'Malley spokeswoman Christine Hansen.

The effort is part of a broader initiative to create better coordination across all Maryland's state agencies. "The department will make sure IT functions are centralized and coordinated throughout the state," Hansen said.

The new department will have policy responsibility for information technology matters across state agencies.

"Because information technology impacts the ability of every State agency to serve the public, it is important that an agency exists to provide oversight authority over large information technology expenditures, and to centralize common information technology functions and assets," O'Malley said in a statement. "It is also important that these functions be consolidated into one department and elevated to a level that reports directly to the Governor."

The new department will also assume the responsibility for coordinating, purchasing and managing all telecommunications devices and systems used by state agencies. The secretary of information technology will lead chief information officers of all agencies to streamline business processes across state government. The secretary also will coordinate initiatives related to security, disaster recovery and continuity of operations.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

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