• State Senate Holds Up Approval of Technology Agency Secretary Carlos Ramos’ Appointment, Questions Governor Brown’s Reorganization Proposal

    February 2nd, 2012 by admin Categories: Blogs Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

    Sen. Darrell Steinberg chaired a hearing of his Senate Rules Committee yesterday on the confirmation of State CIO and Secretary of the new California Technology Agency Carlos Ramos. In a somewhat unanticipated move, apparently to Carlos as well, the appointment confirmation was “put over”, or in layman’s terms, postponed indefinitely.

    The hearing was pure theater. After welcoming Ramos, Steinberg warmly encouraged him to introduce his family and friends in the hearing room. After this, however, ominous clouds began to gather as the Senator made a few telling remarks prior to formal Committee members’ questions. He immediately brought up the 800 pound gorilla in the room. As everyone who follows state IT knows the Cabinet Agency appointment which the Committee was scheduled to review, and Ramos would lead had been slated for elimination by Ramos’ boss Governor Jerry Brown in his new FY2012-2013 Budget less than a month ago.

    Having some familiarity with how these things work, it appears that the confirmation decision had been made before the first bell. The Governor’s office orchestrates these confirmation hearings in collaboration with the legislature, and while instances of confirmation denial are not uncommon, they’re rarely a surprise.

    The official reason for the Committee’s decision as articulated by the Chairman based upon his understanding of the testimony was the fact that, “Multi-agency accountability for IT project failure was unacceptable, and if true, I question the Administration’s proposed re-organization proposal.”

    While Steinberg tried to highlight the positive aspects of the session, and indicated there could be another hearing in the future, it was certainly another black-eye in the state’s IT governance future. Given the still surprising and disappointing call for the California Technology Agency’s elimination in last month’s budget proposal, it is surprising and disappointing that the Governor’s Office could not foresee, nor prevent this clumsy conclusion of events yesterday. Carlos Ramos deserves better.

    It’s almost as if it’s intentional…


    1. Anonymous says:

      I think Mr. Steinberg is on to something here. It seems that the new Jerry isn’t all that far from the old. He doesn’t think things out well enough and seems more concerned with fulfilling promises to support those who supported him. The previous appointments have made great strides to reduce IT infrastructure and eventually staff in the state – a good direction, but the new is breaking apart that work and building up to fulfill obligations and paybacks to encumber waiste.
      Brown does not have a vision of savings because he cannot think that far ahead and off the lines of the check book that aided his campaign.

    2. Anonymous says:

      I have a question pretty much along this line. What does this do to the totally ineffective paperwork nightmare of an office that Keith Tresh runs? The Office of Information Security is a miniscule part of CTA, that does nothing but cause problems for State Agencies and departments. Will this office of sniviling bureaucrats also be put to rest? Tresh has already been muzzled by his boss. He is not allowed to talk to anybody. Some leader he is, won’t even try to have conversations with underlings.

      Anyway there is my rant. See what you can come up with on that subject.

      • admin says:

        Interesting… Tresh will be my guest on next TechLeader.TV in March. Keep watching for details.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is so very typical to see a disgruntled long-time State employee like Glen Carson make such a uneducated and personal attack against Keith Tresh and his organization. I have been working with Keith since he took over and he is truly trying to move the State’s IT Security Program along. His small staff are also very helpful and always there to help us out. As far as him being unwilling to talk to “underlings” (as Glen put it) is absolute garbage! Keith is out in the IT community (not just the security community) trying to offer help and get ideas from the State agencies and departments to move the IT Security program froward.

        And take a look around Glen, there are security issues and hacks happening every day. You may not like Keith but he is trying his best to do what he thinks is best to help the State move forward in security and minimize the risks to taxpayers information and data.

        Shame on you!

    3. Anonymous says:

      State cannot function without Information Technology (IT). State employees do a great job for most part to complete IT projects. Private sector doesn’t necessarily have better records. A big difference is that they are not under the spotlight every day. Unfortunately the media (not all) always highlight the negative and not may success stories with IT projects in State. State officials need to see those success stories and not be blindsided by what they read in newspapers.

    4. Anonymous says:

      This is disappointing. Ramos has already started to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy in State IT and it would be a shame to not let him continue that effort. Just got done reading the revised FSR guidelines and they are excellent.

    5. Old State Worker says:

      25 years ago, State IT was created in the different Departments and was put under the direction of the Admininistration Services departments.

      Since then many IT departments have been removed from under Admin Services since Admin Services is no longer an appropriate reporting structure. IT has grown way beyond Admin.

      Jerry Brown is now proposing to consolodate IT back into an Admin Services department, ie.. Personnel Services, DPA and DGS (purchasing).

      Jerry is just reorganinzing to make it appear as though progress is being made. What a waste.

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