The “help desk” for employees in the executive branch of state government who have computer issues is getting a new name.
“There’s not going to be any additional staff added on as a part of this,” says Caleb Hunter, a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Administrative Services. “The staff that was currently a part of the Information Technology Enterprise is just moving over to the Office of the Chief Information Officer.”
In 2010 legislators and former Governor Chet Culver voted to hire a “chief information officer” for state government. In 2013 current Governor Terry Branstad and legislators agreed to put that person in charge of all the I-T staff in the executive branch and create the new department.
“There are some new initiatives around email, cloud-based email systems, and some other areas that IT is focused on to try to improve the efficiency and leverage new technologies in order to reduce the cost and improve the service,” Hunter says.
The Office of the Chief Information Officer will be in charge of all state government websites.
This is a second go-round for a state agency solely dedicated to “information technology” issues. Former Governor Tom Vilsack hired a “chief information officer” in 1999 to oversee a new state Information Technology department, but four years later during an effort to reduce the number of state agencies that department was tossed into what is now called the Department of Administrative Services. It’s the agency responsible for state personnel issues, for purchasing goods and services for state government and for the upkeep of state-owned buildings.