State CIO Issues Statement on State IT Contracting

For Immediate Release

September 10, 2009

Bill Maile
(916) 549-2845

State Chief Information Officer Teri Takai today issued the following statement in response to an audit by the Bureau of State Audits critical of the Departments of Health Care Services and Public Health on contracting for information technology services:

"As the State Chief Information Officer, I take the issue of state contracting for technology services very seriously. We all agree that it is a top priority to use our state resources in the most efficient and cost effective manner and that is why my office has worked very hard to help state agencies understand and comply with the rigorous requirements for utilizing contractors for state IT services.

"My agency has also worked with the State Personnel Board, state IT leaders and the SEIU to strengthen the career track for state IT professionals. We have created a number of open, continuous online exams, which range in level, so that we can hire state staff more rapidly and with greater expertise. We are committed to developing the state IT workforce, not only to face the issue of state contracting, but to deal with the great number of state employees that are reaching retirement age.

"There are times when using contractors is appropriate, such as when we lack expertise in a certain area, or if we need to temporarily ramp up staff before launching a project. We must also continue requiring a knowledge transfer to state staff so that we can maintain and run the projects in the long term."