Jeff Baldo hit the ground running when he took over as CIO of the California Youth and Adult Correctional Agency in March 2004. He immediately started work on a system that tracks drug prescriptions within the correctional system. The first phase was rolled out in August.

Baldo is working on a five-year strategic plan, and, at press time, was completing an annual strategic plan -- the agency's first in eight years. He also oversees a major reorganization proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, in which all CIOs from the Department of Corrections, the Youth Authority and the Prison Industry Authority will report to Baldo rather than their department head.

How will the reorganization affect your office?

In the past, all CIOs used to report to all the directors of their departments. As of March 1, we went to one central authority. All the CIOs report directly to me.

Basically it's going to allow us to run more efficiently, as far as getting projects planned, set up, allowing us to get through the processes a lot quicker than in the past. In the long run, we'll definitely gain efficiencies as far as one application that can run all the department's needs in a certain area versus having different silos.

What is a major IT goal of the Youth and Adult Correctional Agency?

To come up with some sort of standard data model or schema we can work on in the future. The key is to have something solid that is standardized behind the scenes that allows us to have a model that is all one, that not only we can work from, but our law enforcement partners can as well.

What sort of IT implementations do you need?

They're numerous. One is the business information system; we're collaborating with the state Controller's Office and other departments to roll out an ERP system. Then we have the offender management system. Those are the two enterprise ones. Then we have phase II of the pharmacy project ready to go any week now.

One [the business information system] is moving forward pretty well, the other one needs to be injected with some super unleaded gas right now.

What's slowing implementation of the offender management system?

A lot of it is resource problems. Everybody complains about our inability to produce good, quality data. That's fine and dandy, however, sooner or later, someone is going to have to help us make a major investment; help us come up with an enterprise architecture plan and the money to fund it.

If you could accomplish one thing as CIO, what would it be?

To give the department a very clear-cut vision of where they need to go in the next five years, which I'm doing.

Jim McKay, Justice and Public Safety Editor  |  Justice and Public Safety Editor