The way state government approaches information technology could see sweeping changes under a proposal heard Wednesday by the House State Government Finance Committee, but critics said some portions of the bill could cost taxpayers more.
HF3447 would require each agency to dedicate 5 percent of its IT budget to cybersecurity, require MN.IT Services to consult with local governments on specific projects and require the agency to contract with the private sector on projects costing more than $100,000. The proposed changes drew concern from Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration.
“It would be a poor use of tax dollars to pay twice for project work,” MN.IT Commissioner Johanna Clyborne said about contracting for projects over $100,000.
Rep. Sarah Anderson (R-Plymouth), the committee chair, said consulting with local governments is necessary because, as project users, they are the ones who often find the hiccups or miscues. Testing, she and others said, could have caught issues with other program rollouts.
There is no fiscal note for the bill, Alice Roberts-Davis, administrative assistant commissioner with the Department of Administration, noted, but there will likely be a cost to state agencies.
Rep. Jeff Howe (R-Rockville), the bill’s sponsor, said by having outside groups take care of large projects, the state could focus on its day-to-day maintenance and upkeep of IT systems.
“This is just an attempt to make MN.IT a more effective, more efficient agency. That’s the bill,” he said.
The committee laid the bill over for possible omnibus inclusion. It has no Senate companion.
Howe’s bill is similar to two other bills heard by the same committee on Wednesday: Rep. Jim Nash (R-Waconia) sponsors HF2868, as amended, and HF3570, as amended, which would directly impact MN.IT’s operations and cybersecurity funding in the state. Those were also laid over for possible omnibus bill inclusion.
The latest numbers are a $517 million swing from the November forecast
The state’s latest economic forecast projects a budget deficit of $188 million for the current two-year biennium, and a $586 million deficit for the 2020-21 biennium
The budget process explained — and why it matters