November 18, 2009

Assembly Passes Legislation To Reform Use Of
Information Technology Consultants
Measure Will Save State Millions

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Government Operations Committee Chair RoAnn M. Destito today announced the passage of legislation (Extraordinary Session Bill A. 11) that would significantly save taxpayer money by making it easier for state agencies to immediately end costly contracts with private companies that provide information technology services to the state. Instead, the bill will make it easier for the state to use state workers for such services.

The legislation would enable the appointment of limited-term state employees for positions that cannot currently be filled by existing civil service candidates. The bill would limit such positions to five years and prohibit their renewal. The new employees would be state workers and would be eligible for one civil service promotional examination.

"Today we have made an important decision that will save the state millions of dollars annually by reducing the use of costly private IT consultants in our state agencies," said Silver (D-Manhattan). "By developing a system to fill vacancies with qualified public employees, we are not only containing but reducing the costs associated with hiring outside contractors. This legislation is possible through the diligent work of Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito, who has lead the way for the state to reform its IT purchasing practices."

"At a time when our state faces difficult decisions regarding reductions to programs critical to the people of New York, this initiative will save the taxpayers millions of dollars each and every year without any reductions in the services upon which so many New Yorkers rely," said Destito (D/WF-Rome). "It is my fervent hope, and will continue to be the focus of my efforts, that we as a state shall engage in and expand efforts like this to use technology to deliver real reform and smart, more efficient government to the taxpayers of the state of New York."

The legislation comes days after a pair of Assembly public hearings explored ways in which the state could reduce IT costs.

In addition, the legislation would:

The bill is part of an effort also supported by a memorandum of understanding between the state and the Public Employees Federation that modifies the existing collective bargaining agreement for IT workers so that a portion of the money saved by eliminating outside contracts is used to provide training for existing state workers. This would allow the state workforce to perform necessary IT functions without relying on expensive contracts with outside vendors.

The provisions of this measure would expire on December 31, 2011.