Though he couldn't put an exact number to it, Governor Bruce Rauner says a new state agency to centralize the state’s many information technology operations could save hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars over several years.
Governor Rauner said the Department of Innovation and Technology, or DOIT, was created through executive order to bring together the various state agency information technology programs to drive value for taxpayers.
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Rauner said the many different systems are outdated and “one of the reasons that our audits take many, many months to complete and are filled with hundreds of millions of dollars in accounting errors.”
“It’s wasteful for taxpayer money,” Rauner said. “It’s ineffective, inefficient government and we gotta change it.”
DOIT Director Hardik Bhatt says the systems for Illinois’ state agencies were built in 1974 when he was 2 years old.
“And we have kept investing in this technology decade after decade,” Bhatt said, “without really focusing on how we deinvest and modernize in a more strategic method.”
Bhatt said the plan is to centralize the state’s IT programs to make citizen interaction with government more effective and also help caseworkers have better access to vital information and documents via smartphones and tablets.
Rauner said it’s a complex subject to get the actual savings numbers.
“It’s a lot,” Rauner said, “it’s many hundreds (of millions), and billions over time, I can say that safely.”