Governor Huntsman plans to release his budget today. State employees can expect at least a couple of surprises. The following changes were mentioned in this morning's Salt Lake Tribune (my bold and italics):
- Close the two-person, governor's Washington, D.C., office and hire occasional lobbyists instead.
- Shift remaining development employees from the Department of Community and Economic Development to work for the governor's senior economic development officer and create a new Community and Arts Department that will focus on boosting the state's arts.
- Realign the state's 1,000 information technology workers, who currently work for various departments and do not report to the state's chief information officer.
- Move the Human Resources Department under the Administrative Services Department.
- Bring the state's Natural Resources Department's Energy Office under the governor's office.
- Create a Public Lands Coordinating Office under Natural Resources to deal with wilderness and land-use issues.
Additional details can be found in this article by Paul Foy with AP.
If the move to restructure IT can be done successfully and carefully, it can position the state to maintain its niche as a top hi-tech state. This is important to Utah for several reasons, including economic development which is, very obviously and very deservedly, of great importance to this governor. It is also critical that we do not upset critical operations in state agencies that are supported by large IT systems and require close alignment with the business of the agency. Although many systems can be leveraged across state government, there are certainly those that are unique to an individual agency's mission. I encourage all state employees, including those in the division that I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to serve for the past year to align themselves with the chief executive in promoting the advancement of IT to promote efficiency, enhance service to the citizen, and deliver on the promise of innovation as this plan becomes more apparrent.