Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and a group of bipartisan lawmakers today announced the introduction of legislation to centralize and streamline the state's scattered information technology services. The bill will consolidate state government's IT infrastructure within the Governor's Office of Information Technology.

"Information technology is the backbone of how we deliver services to the people of Colorado," Governor Ritter said. "But we have too many examples of under-performing and even failing computer systems. We have twice the number of computer servers we need. We have 38 data centers, when other states do just fine with two. We have a decentralized IT purchasing structure, when we should be maximizing our buying power instead of diffusing it.

"Taking existing resources and making them more efficient and more effective for the people of Colorado is important for all of us. I'm proud we have come together in a bipartisan fashion to make this legislation a priority."

In 2007, Ritter appointed Michael Locatis as the state's chief information officer and directed him to determine how best to modernize and improve the state's technology services. The first phase involved a May executive order, "Improving State Information Technology Management." The legislation introduced today marks another important step forward. The bill's primary sponsors are Senators Bill Cadman and John Morse and Reps. Bernie Buescher and Andy Kerr. Seventy-four legislators have signed on as co-sponsors.

"This legislation is more than just a shift of government resources from one department to another," said Senator Cadman, R-Colorado Springs. "It is so much more than the consolidation of Information Technology assets and personnel. The General Assembly is partnering with Governor Ritter to truly transform Colorado government with increased efficiency, effectiveness and security through innovation and collaboration."

"As a businessman, I never would have tolerated the discombobulated IT systems we endured for over a decade in this state," said Representative Buescher, D-Grand Junction. "I'm glad we're finally correcting it."