ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION No. 281

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JULY 13, 2017

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  DANIEL R. BENSON

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

Assemblywoman  ELIZABETH MAHER MUOIO

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

Assemblyman  REED GUSCIORA

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

Assemblyman  WAYNE P. DEANGELO

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

Assemblywoman  JOANN DOWNEY

District 11 (Monmouth)

Assemblyman  ERIC HOUGHTALING

District 11 (Monmouth)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblymen Singleton, Greenwald, Assemblywomen Tucker, Jasey and Assemblyman Coughlin

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Opposes Governor’s plan to reorganize New Jersey Office of Information Technology.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Assembly Resolution expressing opposition to the Governor’s reorganization of New Jersey Office of Information Technology.

 

Whereas, Since its inception, the Office of Information Technology (“OIT”) has served an integral role in providing essential State services, developing the State's technical infrastructure, and maintaining an efficient and transparent State government; and

Whereas, The core responsibilities of the OIT include application and software development and maintenance functions for departments throughout State government, including the Departments of Human Services, Children and Families, Transportation, and Treasury, as well as the Motor Vehicle Commission, data center operations, telecommunications, critical network engineering, Internet development, and security operations support for dozens of departments and agencies throughout the State; and

Whereas, The OIT also plays an integral role in providing the expertise necessary to connect and integrate various layers of State government, as well as deliver information technology services to State residents; and

 Whereas, The OIT is “in but not of” the Department of the Treasury and is “independent of any supervision or control by the State Treasurer,” pursuant to section 9 of P.L.2007, c.56 (C.52:18A-227); and

Whereas, On June 1, 2017, the Governor issued Executive Order 225 of 2017 (“EO 225”), which, among other things, abruptly decentralized the operational structure of the OIT by authorizing the Chief Technology Officer of the OIT (“CTO”) to transfer software development and maintenance functions and operations for agency-specific applications that do not serve shared business requirements across the Executive Branch; and

Whereas, This Legislature, under the “The Office of Information Technology Reorganization Act,” P.L.2007, c.56 (C.52:18A-244 et seq.), has previously recognized the need for the State to coordinate and integrate information technology planning, budgeting, and spending throughout the Executive Branch to advance cost savings, improve the quality of services, and retain operating efficiencies; and

Whereas, The reorganization of the OIT mandated by EO 225 may well result in the proliferation of information technology operational inefficiencies and delays, as many of the services and expertise provided by the OIT will be broken up and spread out among different State agencies; and

Whereas, In particular, the decentralization of application developers has the potential to result in the waste of taxpayer dollars, erection of barriers that inhibit the ability of the State’s operating systems experts to access and share information, and delay the development and implementation of critical work product and infrastructure improvements; and

Whereas, The OIT has also played a vital role in identifying waste, fraud, and abuse in the provision of State information technology modernization contracts, an important function that may be hindered by the implementation of EO 225; and

Whereas, The CTO has issued directives to transfer core functions of the OIT to other agencies of State government, including the application and software development and maintenance functions and operations for agency-specific applications that do not serve shared business requirements across the Executive Branch; and

Whereas, The CTO, to accomplish this transfer of core agency functions, has directed that approximately 186 application development specialists employed by the OIT will be transferred to other agencies of State government, including the Departments of Human Services, Children and Families, Transportation, and Treasury, as well as the Motor Vehicle Commission, effective on or before July 22, 2017; and

Whereas, The transfer of the core functions of application and software development and maintenance cannot be transferred from the OIT, an independent agency, to other agencies of State government by an Executive Order issued by the Governor; and 

Whereas, EO 225, which authorizes the transfer of the core functions of the OIT of application and software development and maintenance, exceeds the scope of the Governor’s executive authority and violates principles of separation of powers and the Presentment Clause of the New Jersey Constitution; now, therefore;

 

     Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    This House respectfully requests the Governor rescind those provisions of Executive Order 225 of 2017 that authorize the Chief Technology Officer of the New Jersey Office of Information Technology to transfer core functions of the New Jersey Office of Information Technology to other agencies of State government, including the application and software development and maintenance functions and operations for agency-specific applications that do not serve shared business requirements across the Executive Branch in violation of separation of powers principles and the Presentment Clause of the New Jersey Constitution, and in addition, this House respectfully opposes such transfer of core functions based on the decentralization, inefficiencies, and information technology security concerns that arise from Executive Order 225 of 2017, and in particular any transfer of application developers out of the New Jersey Office of Information Technology.

 

     2.    Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly to the Governor, the State Treasurer of New Jersey, and the Chief Technology Officer of New Jersey.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This Assembly resolution expresses opposition to the Governor’s Executive Order 225 of 2017.  Executive Order 225 of 2017 (“EO 225”), issued on June 1, 2017, among other things, calls for the decentralization of certain software development and maintenance functions and operations of The New Jersey Office of Information Technology (“OIT”).

     The OIT is an agency in, but not of, the State Department of the Treasury.  It provides application development and maintenance services, data management, and telecommunications expertise, including in areas relative to cybersecurity, to departments and agencies in the Executive Branch. 

     EO 225 authorizes the transfer of core OIT functions, including application and software development and maintenance, to other agencies of State government in violation of separation of powers principles and in violation of the Presentment Clause of the New Jersey Constitution.  The transfer of these core OIT functions raises concerns about adverse effects on the State’s technical infrastructure, including the transfer of approximately 186 application developers from the OIT to various State agencies.  In addition to being an unconstitutional exercise of executive authority, EO 225 authorizes the CTO to undertake a reorganization that may well cause inefficiencies and delays that impair the State’s critical information technology infrastructure.  Moreover, the disbursement of these specialists throughout different agencies hinders their ability to identify waste, fraud, and abuse relative to State information technology contracts and programs, as well as access and share information with other technical experts.  Rather than decentralization, the State should instead centralize and enhance OIT application development—as has been performed successfully in other states.