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CTG Online News
Wed, 23 May 2012 14:20:00 EST

Pardo Testifies Before New York State Assembly on State's Information Technology Infrastructure

Theresa Pardo
The New York State Assembly Committee on Governmental Operations, Committee on Oversight, Analysis, and Investigation, and Legislative Commission on Government Administration recently held a hearing on the State's Information Technology Infrastructure to examine how the State's agencies and municipalities are currently using advances in information technology and how such advances can be used to create jobs and serve the public more efficiently and more responsively. Theresa Pardo was invited to testify on how new advances in information technology may make it possible to achieve significant increases in government efficiency, fiscal responsibility, and openness while providing better services and reducing regulatory burdens.

Pardo’s testimony focused on one very important conclusion that CTG has come to over the last twenty years of our funded research and practical problem solving: that in order for government to take full advantage of advanced information technologies to better serve the public and create jobs, they must have a complementary set of non-technology capabilities.

Pardo emphasized that most truly transformational information technology applications require changes in the institutional and organizational fabric of government. The bulk of her testimony then focused on the three areas where change is most critical:
  1. Whether the state has 100 youth turning 17 or over 2,500 like New York, gathering accountability and outcome data directly from individual youth requires coordinated effort from the many different services providers across the system.
  2. Communication and coordination are key aspects of making a project like this work. New York State, like many states, is working to inform state staff, county and voluntary agency caseworkers, foster parents, and the youth about NYTD.
  3. All states are finding ways to innovate and leverage information systems to improve information flows and data quality to meet reporting requirements.
She concluded by saying:

“In closing, I would like to return to the role of technology itself - achieving the goal of making New York a leader in IT-enabled government transformation will require the use of many emerging technologies such as cloud computing, social media, and mobile devices. These technologies present new opportunities for innovation in how government provides services, protects the public good, and especially how it interacts with citizens. But the technologies alone aren’t enough to ensure that New York becomes a leader in creating jobs and serving the public more efficiently and responsively. Institutional and organizational changes, such as the foundational capabilities outlined above, are necessary. The State legislature working with the Governor and information technology and program leaders can create governance structures that support coordinated action across boundaries, bring new clarity to governments as a steward of information, and bring new attention to questions of public value. In doing so, together they can create the capabilities necessary to leverage technology and institutional and organizational innovation to bring New York into national prominence as a model of government transformation.”