Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Queens), Chair of the Assembly Oversight, Analysis, and Investigations Committee, Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Suffolk), Chair of the Assembly Governmental Operations Committee, and Assemblyman George Latimer, (D-Westchester), Chair of the Assembly Commission of Government Administration, held a hearing on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 focused on the state of New York’s information technology infrastructure, government usage, and civilian accessibility.
Several expert panels, including two State Agency Commissioners, internationally recognized academics from multiple institutes of higher learning, and good government groups, including Citizens Union, Reinvent Albany, Common Cause NY, and NYPIRG, testified. It was made clear that progress has been made in New York State toward achieving the goal of using information technology to enhance government services; however, a number of suggestions were made in several areas that will be reviewed for efficiency improvements.
“Advances in information technology, particularly since early 2000, have made it possible to achieve significant progress in government efficiency, fiscal responsibility, and openness, while enhancing multiple services to citizens,” Assemblyman Hevesi said. “It is now just a matter of being resolute in our pursuit of these goals.”
At the hearing, Office of General Services (OGS) Commissioner RoAnn Destito highlighted an initiative her agency is undertaking at the direction of Governor Andrew Cuomo. In order to streamline fundamental administrative tasks, such as payroll and attendance, among others, OGS is in the process of creating a Business Services Center, which will centralize these transactions, which are currently being done by individual state agencies.
“As we seek to make our state’s government more efficient and more responsive to the tax payers of the state, it is important that we continue to strive towards utilizing technology best practices to achieve these goals,” said Assemblyman Englebright. “New York State is a hub for technology innovation and our government should be no different.”
In addition, Acting Commissioner of the Office of Technology (CIO-OFT) Daniel Chan made a very significant acknowledgment during his testimony about current state IT operations. Mr. Chan spoke to current IT operations being highly distributed and highlighted his agency’s plan to move toward a “centralized governance structure that responds to the business needs of agencies within statewide technology standards and policies”.
“I applaud Governor Cuomo, and specifically Commissioner Destito and Acting Director Chan, for their work and vision toward streamlining our State’s IT infrastructure operations. New York State has the ability and the responsibility to be a national leader in the use of IT in government and I look forward to working cooperatively with the Cuomo Administration to explore the new and exciting opportunities presented by the growing technology field,” said Hevesi.