Mr. Rhodes is Chief Information Officer for the State of Georgia and Executive Director of the Georgia Technology Authority.
At the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Midyear Conference last month, state CIOs were asked to list their state's top IT priorities. Not surprisingly, we found a great deal of common ground and learned about areas where others are trying new approaches. Across the nation, states are grappling with similar issues, including consolidation, cloud computing and security. Most of us who attended are still getting our feet on the ground. Of the 42 states and territories represented, I was certainly not alone in being relatively new to the job — there were 14 new CIOs and 16 others serving on an interim basis.
GTA Chief Technology Officer Steve Nichols and I also had an opportunity to meet with several members of Georgia's congressional delegation to encourage the repeal of a provision of federal law that will require federal, state and local governments to withhold three percent on payments for most goods and services. The cost of implementing systems to capture and report the data would likely far outweigh any savings the provision might generate. In addition, we discussed cyber threats facing governments at all levels and urged the federal government to give higher priority to state cyber security programs.
Federal CIO Vivek Kundra pledged to work closely with states, sharing reports and analyses, and enabling states to participate in federal contracts.
Discussions among CIOs during the conference centered on achieving savings and efficiencies. It was clear to me that Georgia is moving in the right direction; other states continue to be interested in the progress of our privatization initiative and the lessons we have learned so far.
Thank you for your ongoing support.