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New York Bill Proposes IT Infrastructure Evaluation

A recently proposed New York bill could soon allow the state's IT office to select a third party to evaluate its IT infrastructure, which was stretched to the limit during COVID-19 pandemic response efforts.

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After being pushed to the limit by COVID-19, New York’s information technology infrastructure may soon undergo an examination by a third party chosen by the state’s Office of Information Technology Services to see how it can be improved to handle crisis situations.

According to a bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, the state’s IT infrastructure faced a significant strain during the pandemic after receiving an influx of calls and online inquiries about COVID-19 resources and information.

“Initially, it evolved out a number of calls we received throughout the pandemic,” Buttenschon said. “The state infrastructure was, shall we say, pushed to the limit. Individuals were not only dealing with mental and emotional distress but referring them to various state portals or websites caused further undue stress.”

Because of this, she said, “we are asking to create an examination of our tech infrastructure to determine overall whether there should be further changes.”

To do this, A 8076 would allow the state’s Office of Information Technology Services to select a private firm to examine four different areas. Those areas include:

  1. Evaluating the state’s information technology infrastructure, applications, data use and management, policies, procedures and operational processes of the state's departments of labor and health
  2. Looking at all applications and systems operated by the state that are used by the public to obtain services, such as benefits
  3. Conducting a study of the applicable best practices being used in both public and private Internet and technology services
  4. Identifying deficiencies and recommendations of how to address any issues affecting the state's information technology infrastructure

Once these areas are examined, the Office of Information Technology Services would submit a report to the governor by Jan. 1, 2023, detailing the findings, conclusions and recommendations to improve the state’s IT infrastructure.

“I think that once we have research and data that provides a clear path for us, it will be much easier to see what needs to be done,” Buttenschon said.
Katya Maruri is a staff writer for Government Technology. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in global strategic communications from Florida International University, and more than five years of experience in the print and digital news industry.
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