IT Unification study: Some positives, some challenges | Prairie Public Broadcasting

IT Unification study: Some positives, some challenges

Sep 8, 2020

In the 2019 Legislative Session, the Burgum Administration proposed a unification of the state’s information technology efforts.

The Legislature agreed to a pilot project with some agencies, and tasked the interim IT committee with studying the issue.

"We have learned there are some aspects of unification that are going very well," said IT committee chairman Rep. Corey Mock (D-Grand Forks). "We have seen where some department or agencies have not had the same experience, and have run into a few new obstacles that we're going to have to overcome if any additional unification is going to take place."

Mock said some agencies – such as the Land Department – have some specialized IT needs, and the unification has resulted in some delays in getting results. And Mock said there are other agencies that are not on board with the unification effort, because they’re worried about a loss of control.  Mock said those agencies are headed by separately elected officials – such as the Attorney General and the Public Service Commission.

"We want to make sure we are preserving some autonomy and some self-control, especially in the executive elected branch," mock said. "We want to try and satisfy the intent of unification, realizing some savings, and to make sure that everything is communicating fluently."

The committee will meet one more time, before making any recommendations to the 2021 Legislature.