California Tech Agency Reorganization Clears Hurdle

Independent oversight agency will make a recommendation on the CIO’s status in a matter of days.

by / May 24, 2012
Carlos Ramos, CIO, California. Photo by Jessica Mulholland. Photo by Jessica Mulholland

This week a California independent oversight agency recommended that lawmakers approve a reorganization plan from Gov. Jerry Brown that includes a repositioning of the state’s technology agency.

The Little Hoover Commission (LHC) will offer a final report addressing specific concerns with the plan in a few days, Commission Executive Director Stuart Drown said this week.

The governor’s reorganization plan is intended to make government more efficient, and would reduce the number of state agencies from the current 12 to 10. Five existing state agencies would be replaced by new agencies, including the Government Operations Agency, the Business and Consumer Services Agency, and the Transportation Agency.

“The Little Hoover Commission’s unanimous endorsement of this plan moves us one step closer to a more streamlined state government,” the governor said in a statement.

The commission’s vote Tuesday, May 22, came after several meetings and a public hearing during which the commission heard from critics and supporters. The state’s technology community attended a meeting April 24 to voice opinions on a proposal within the plan that would move the California Technology Agency under the Government Operations Agency and eliminate the state CIO’s cabinet-level status.

Although the reorganization plan was recommended to the Legislature, Drown said a full report will address specific concerns raised by Little Hoover Commission members. The report is expected as early as Friday, May 25, and will address the proposal to change the CIO’s status, he said.

“We make a specific recommendation on the CIO,” he said.

John Thomas Flynn, a former state CIO of California, vehemently opposed the change of status for the CIO position in testimony given to the commission last month. Flynn told this week that he remains hopeful that the commission will encourage changes within the plan’s language.

“The LHC is not in the business of opposing reorganization plans submitted by the Governor,” Flynn said in an email. “I hold out some hope that in their final report the Commission will recommend that the head of the new Department of Technology, Carlos Ramos, should report to the Governor.”

The Legislature has until July 3 to reject the proposal or let the plan go into effect, according to the governor’s office.

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Ashley Nelson Contributing Writer
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