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New York City Mayor Eric Adams Consolidates Tech Agencies

All city technology agencies will now operate under the Office of Technology and Innovation, overseen by Chief Technology Officer Matthew Fraser. Fraser took over the CTO position earlier this month.

New York City
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has signed an executive order to consolidate all city technology agencies under the new Office of Technology and Innovation.

According to the executive order, the initiative will promote the use of civic technology across city government to make agencies more efficient and break down silos between them.

The order also shares specific tasks to be carried out by the Office of Technology and Innovation, including overseeing the creation of MyCity, a single one-stop-shop portal for all city services and benefits, and coordinating efforts among the following agencies:

  • New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications
  • Mayor's Office of Data Analytics
  • Mayor's Office of the Chief Technology Officer
  • Mayor's Office of Information Privacy
  • New York City Cyber Command
  • Algorithms Management and Policy Office
  • NYC 311

“With today’s announcement, we are ensuring that all of our technology agencies are unified under one voice and one leader,” said Adams in a Jan. 19 release.

That singular leader is Chief Technology Officer Matthew Fraser, who took over the role for John Paul Farmer earlier this month. Fraser formerly served as the deputy commissioner of information technology for the New York City Police Department (NYPD).

“What I’m looking forward to the most is being able to create efficiencies and move the ball forward on a number of different fronts,” Fraser said.

However, that’s not to say there won’t be any challenges. Fraser said implementing organizational change is likely to be the biggest challenge.

“Each entity as a whole has a hundred years of inertia behind it. City agencies are used to moving along to the beat of their own drum," he said. "Now we are changing the focus from independent agencies to a centralized strategy, so it might take some time for agencies to get accustomed to the change.”

Despite the potential for challenges, the shift from a federated to consolidated model will bring the opportunity to hold agencies more accountable.

“I want to be able to look back six months from now, a year from now, and look at the measurable differences and say we’ve made progress," Fraser said.

BetaNYC Executive Director Noel Hidalgo said the consolidation would be an opportunity to improve citizen-facing technology — an area he said saw multiple failures throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Finally, New York City's customer service, analytics, privacy, algorithms, security, broadband, data literacy and tech innovation will become the city's digital front door,” Hidalgo said in the release.

Until any changes are made, Fraser said, “we need to stand by, wait and be held accountable.”

Editor’s note: Noel Hidalgo was misgendered in an earlier version of this story.
Katya Diaz 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.