The Utah Legislature is debating a new CIO statute for the State: Senate Bill 151. The bill clears up some long-standing problems which had plagued the CIO's office:
- The IT Commission is abolished and a cross branch coordinating body called the Utah Technology Commission is established in its place. If the UTC can tackle the cross branch IT coordination problem, particularly with respect to policy, this will be a positive step.
- The planning process is changed to be top-down (CIO creates strategic plan and agencies follow rather than the CIO merely aggregating agency plans).
- Rule making and policy making authority are cleared up.
- A whole new section on interagency cooperation has been added.
- The bill increases the amount of work the CIO's office will have to do and there's not likely to be any increase in staff to support it.
- The statute has no teeth at all. The CIO can plan all he wants, but there's nothing in the bill to require agencies to cooperate. Even the CIO's power to control purchases has been stripped. The CIO is now only allowed to "monitor" purchases.
Its likely that with these changes Utah has one of the most emasculated CIO statutes in the country. Something to celebrate, unless you're a taxpayer.