Baker-Polito administration elevates state technology office
Governor Charlie Baker announced on Tuesday changes to the state’s administration of technology services, establishing the role of executive director of MassIT, the state technology office, and elevating the position to report directly to the governor. The changes come after an eight-month review of current practices across state government with a special immediate focus on improving and upgrading how the Commonwealth’s citizens interact with key state systems over the internet. Mark Nunnelly, current Commissioner of the Department of Revenue and Special Advisor to Baker for Technology and Innovation Competitiveness, will begin as executive director of MassIT on April 4th, 2016.
“As so much of our lives become increasingly digitized, it is important state government keep up with the daily needs of our constituents,” Baker said. “Information technology is an important priority for this administration and our ability to provide secure essential services and execute projects in an efficient and fiscally responsible manner is key to a better state government for Massachusetts. This is an important step that not only addresses some of the problems we have, but is an essential way forward to a better future.”
“Our administration is always looking for more ways to make government work for taxpayers, and these improvements to our technology services are meant to improve customer service and support the Commonwealth,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We look forward to making these important changes and are confident Mark Nunnelly’s leadership and knowledge will serve this new position well.”
The executive director of MassIT will lead an effort to revamp and improve how end users interact with the Commonwealth, from improving licensing, to answering the latest questions on healthcare services, and help filing taxes. With over 75 percent of constituents interacting with state government online, focusing IT operations on delivering a more user-friendly experience to fully meet expectations is a top priority for the Baker-Polito administration. The executive director will also focus on procuring services, managing projects using more readily available technology and streamlining duplicative IT applications currently in place. A faster, more flexible development process will generate a better outcome at a lower cost to taxpayers.
“Elevating the executive director of MassIT to report directly to the governor will create a more streamlined process in order to meet the IT demands of the Commonwealth,” said Kristen Lepore, secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance. “This move mirrors a common trend in both the private and public sector to prioritize IT needs and implement them in an effective manner.”
The steering committee that lead this process was commissioned in August 2015 and included Lepore, Commissioner Nunnelly, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Connector Louis Gutierrez, interim Chief Information Officer for the Commonwealth Charles Desourdy, former Chief Information Officer for the Commonwealth Bill Oates and key senior staff. The steering committee conducted a top to bottom review of the agency, including interviews with over 100 IT and government leaders. More details on the findings of this process and implementation plans will be announced at a later date.