Yesterday, May 2, 2014, the Florida Senate passed House Bill 7073, relating to Information Technology Governance. Developing an information technology strategy for state government is a component of the joint House and Senate Work Plan 2014 agenda championed by Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) and House Speaker Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel).
“Florida has the unfortunate distinction of being the only large state without a centralized Information Technology organization,” said President Gaetz. “As a result and at a great cost to the taxpayer, state government has failed to properly implement and manage essential technology projects,” said President Gaetz. “This legislation will help our state better coordinate the structure and delivery of information technology systems and provide for better protection of these systems and the data they contain.”
HB 7073 creates the Agency for State Technology, an executive agency administratively housed within the Department of Management Services. The legislation also creates a Chief Information Officer, appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate, to provide leadership in the areas of enterprise-wide technology solutions, strategic planning, information technology policy, security, technology procurements, and the operation and maintenance of centralized equipment.
Beginning January 1, 2015, the Agency for State Technology will perform project oversight services for any state agency project with a total project cost of $10 million or more, and any projects that affect multiple agencies and have a total project cost of $25 million or more and are initiated by Cabinet agencies. The legislation further directs the Agency for State Technology to provide best practices for Information Technology procurement and review all Information Technology purchases with a total cost of $250,000 or more.