Virginia CIO George Coulter, who was appointed on Aug. 20,  is turning to heads of state agencies for input on technology decision-making.

Fourteen IT leaders from state agencies will serve on a new CIO Council, which will meet as needed to discuss the concerns of state agencies, the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) announced Tuesday.

"I expect it will make recommendations regarding how to improve the IT services that we provide and to let us know how the decisions we are making impact their agencies," Coulter said in a press release.

Some Virginia agencies have complained that the state's 10-year, $2 billion outsourcing contract with Northrop Grumman for IT services has delivered subpar results. Northrop Grumman submitted a "corrective action plan" to VITA last week that the vendor says will improve service and the decision-making process.

The Northrop Grumman VITA program manager will sit in on the CIO Council's discussions.

VITA spokeswoman Marcella Williamson said Tuesday that the new council is not an official oversight board. The state's IT Investment Board already fills that oversight role; the investment board's members -- who primarily come from the private sector but include Virginia Technology Secretary Len Pomata -- are appointed by Gov. Tim Kaine and the state Assembly.

Coulter said via the news release that the CIO Council would be heard by the IT Investment Board.

"He thinks this [new council] will help VITA move forward in enhancing customer service," Williamson said.

According to VITA, the 14 members of the CIO Council are: Linda Belflower, Virginia Employment Commission; Dave Burhop, Department of Motor Vehicles; Dr. Jim Burns, Virginia Department of Health; Bethann Canada, Department of Education; Prin Cowan, Motor Vehicle Dealer Board; Rick Davis, Virginia Department of Corrections; Maurion Edwards, Department of General Services; Robert Hobbleman, Department of Social Services; Sharon Kitchens, Department of Taxation; Rick Phillips, Department of Accounts; Murali Rao, Virginia Department of Transportation; Todd Richardson, Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy; David Simmons, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries; and Val Thomson, Department of Environmental Quality.

 

Matt Williams  |  Associate Editor