The future of Arizona’s state technology agency was cast into further uncertainty late Tuesday, March 8, when Gov. Jan Brewer announced state CIO Chad Kirkpatrick is leaving to pursue other career opportunities.

Kirkpatrick’s resignation comes just two months after Brewer revealed her budget proposal for fiscal 2012 that would merge the Government Information Technology Agency under the Department of Administration, and transfer GITA’s $3 billion annual budget there.

Brewer’s budget proposal, which would consolidate several other departments and cut statewide spending by $1 billion, gave no details about the future roles and responsibilities for either GITA or the agency’s director/state CIO.

On Tuesday, Brewer named Aaron Sandeen as Kirkpatrick’s replacement. Sandeen had served since January as GITA’s deputy director. Prior to that, he worked in Brewer’s office, managing and tracking the state’s $3 billion of federal economic stimulus. Last year, Sandeen also was appointed the state’s health IT coordinator for health information exchange.

Sandeen has also worked in private-sector health IT, and for Syntellect, Intel and Microsoft.

“During his tenure with the state of Arizona, Aaron has proved himself to be a tremendously capable and intelligent individual,” said Brewer said in a statement. “He is widely respected by his colleagues for his broad range of knowledge in the field of technology, and has excellent managerial skills.”

Kirkpatrick was named state CIO by Brewer in March 2009, after six years at Wells Fargo. During his tenure, AZ.gov was redesigned, and the state began addressing the challenge of e-mail modernization and consolidation and server virtualization.

GITA was formed in 1996 as the strategic planning and coordination agency for IT and has since grown to provide statewide services for IT coordination and planning, IT project review and monitoring, e-government, the Statewide Information Security and Privacy Office, public safety communications and the Strategic Initiatives Unit.