Photo: outgoing North Carolina CIO George Bakolia. Photo courtesy of North Carolina.

North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue announced Thursday, Sept. 17, that Gerald "Jerry" L. Fralick will become the state's CIO. He replaces George Bakolia, who will stay on as senior deputy state CIO with the Office of Information Technology Services (ITS).

According to the governor's office, Fralick has more than 30 years' experience working for the federal government, including as CIO of the Office of Justice Programs for the U.S. Department of Justice. He was the first elected chairperson for the Federal Grants Executive Board, which provides direction and oversight of Grants.gov. Fralick most recently worked as president and owner of JFCS Inc., a provider of marketing services to IT companies.

Bakolia wrote an e-mail to colleagues at ITS on Thursday announcing the change.

"I have met with Jerry and discussed our efforts since 2002 to improve planning, budgeting and management of IT in state government," Bakolia wrote. "He is fully in support of those goals. I am convinced that with his leadership, we will continue to lead the way in many areas of state government IT."

Bakolia said he and Fralick will begin their new jobs on Monday, Sept. 21. Bakolia was unavailable for comment Thursday.

"Jerry and George have years of experience and North Carolina will continue to be a technology leader under their direction," Perdue said Thursday via a news release.

Perdue took over the governorship in January from former Gov. Mike Easley, who held the office since 2001. Easley appointed Bakolia state CIO in 2002. At the time, Bakolia was the CIO of the North Carolina Department of Justice.

North Carolina Revamps IT Strategy

According to the ITS, the state budget Perdue signed into law in August includes consolidation of the state's GIS operations under the state CIO's office, development of a plan to upgrade the state portal and more IT consolidation, among other technology initiatives. As of September, some GIS staff had already integrated with the state CIO's office, according to the ITS.

In March, North Carolina released a state IT plan, introduced by Perdue and Bakolia. The document made several recommendations, including:

  • A reassessment of the state's Web portal and the services it provides to constituents. "Many states have entered into partnerships for developing, managing and funding their portals, and this may be a viable alternative for North Carolina," the plan said.
  • The creation of a structure for enterprise project management.
  • The continuation of an effort to transition executive branch agencies to a single e-mail system for cost savings and service improvements.
  • An exploration of privatizing some IT services. "The state should maintain responsibility for key IT programs and major business applications, and must ensure accountability, but should pursue public-private partnerships where they would provide value to the taxpayers of North Carolina," the plan said.
Matt Williams  |  Associate Editor