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Little Hoover Commission Report Recommends State CIO Report Directly to Governor in Tech Agency Reorg

The Little Hoover Commission has recommended that California’s CIO have a direct reporting relationship with the Governor as state government undergoes changes recommended in Gov. Jerry Brown’s Reorganization Plan, according to the Commission’s final report issued Friday to the legislature.

The Commission, an independent oversight agency, issued its final report on Governor Brown’s plan that will move the California Technology Agency under the new Government Operations Agency and change the Agency Secretary’s position as state CIO to a non-cabinet-level position. The changes are recommended along with other sweeping changes that will reduce the number of state agencies from the current 12 to 10.

The final report cited testimony by Carol Henton, vice president of TechAmerica, who said "the proposed change in status for the secretary of the technology agency would isolate the department and information technology projects, increasing cost and decreasing efficiency and communication." Henton testified in opposition to the plan, along with former State CIO John Thomas Flynn, at an April 24 public meeting in Sacramento.

The report also cited testimony by Technology Agency Secretary Carlos Ramos, who stated his authority comes from the ability to hold IT programs accountable and not the title of his position.

"[t]he Commission recommends that the Legislature address this issue by establishing a direct line of reporting to the Governor on matters related to the director’s role as Chief Information Officer, much as the director of the Department of Personnel Administration reports directly to the Governor on collective bargaining issues," concluded the report.

The Legislature has until July 3 to reject the proposal or let the plan go into effect.