Senate approves Agency for State Technology

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Florida will soon have its own information-technology agency responsible for large computer projects and setting technology policy for the Sunshine State.

By a 37-0 vote on Friday, the Senate approved  HB 7073, which creates the Agency for State Technology,  a part of the Department of Management Services.

The bill now goes to Gov. Rick Scott.

The new organization will expect to employ 25 people, and with a budget of $4.8 million in the first year.

Former Yahoo executive Sen. Jeremy Ring spent four years advancing the agency, with limited success. That changed after the state’s glitch-plagued $63 million CONNECT unemployment benefits website, as well as high-profile security breaches at Target and other retailers.

State Technology will have executive branch level responsibilities, and will be in charge of oversight for all technology projects over $10 million, as well reviewing all state IT purchases over $250,000.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.