New Mexico could be newest state to consolidate its IT department under an existing agency if legislators back an efficiency proposal from Gov. Susana Martinez.
Martinez unveiled an ambitious agenda Tuesday, Sept. 6, for the start of the New Mexico Legislature’s special session. In an official proclamation, the governor said several state agencies should be merged to address a “bloated” executive branch with 22 Cabinet positions.
The governor wants the Department of Information Technology to be merged under the state’s General Services Department, which oversees employee insurance, property maintenance, procurement, printing and other functions for the state government. State IT personnel and funding authority would be moved to the General Services Department. The proposal would also merge the state’s homeland security and emergency management departments, and the tourism and cultural affairs departments.
“This reorganization will trim government size and costs without affecting essential functions and services,” the governor’s proclamation asserted.
The Department of Information Technology has more than 160 employees and a $62.8 million budget, according to its website. The department, headed by the state CIO, is in charge of the state’s IT strategy and project oversight, and provides a range of technology services, including data center provisioning, to state agencies.
New Mexico wouldn’t be the only state to recently move its IT department beneath an existing agency, in the name of cost cutting. The maneuver appears to have become more popular. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer proposed a similar efficiency program this year, while Michigan previously consolidated IT within a newly formed Department of Technology, Management and Budget.
As part of the proposal, Martinez also wants the state to end its practice of issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants and examine redistricting across the state.