A bill to eliminate the state agency that handles information technology for state agencies passed its first committee this week. The bill is in reaction to the technological delays and unanticipated additional costs with the MNLARS computer system rollout for the Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services. MN.IT requested $43 million in January to complete the computer system by next fall and stated last month that $10 million was necessary to continue ongoing project operations beyond March 1. Since no funds have been provided by the Legislature, MN.IT sent layoff notices at the beginning of March, at least one highly specialized employee has already left, and a manager has been let go.
MN.IT was created in 2011 to consolidate information technology services for most state agencies. MN.IT has recently been working toward consolidation of the state’s servers as well as advocating for additional cybersecurity resources to keep Minnesotans’ digital data safe.
The bill would roll the agency into the Department of Administration and state agencies would no longer be required to use MN.IT to enter into service contracts. Desktop and laptop computers, system software, databases, business application software, help desk, maintenance, and upgrades and replacements are examples of services currently provided by MN.IT. The proposal is controversial and would do nothing to solve the issues facing the MNLARS system rollout. (SF 2966)