January 18, 2011

Concerns raised over plan to wipe out DIS, GA, DOP

The Federation Tuesday morning raised concerns over the governor’s plan to create a new Department of Enterprise Services that would wipe out the Department of Information Services, Department of General Administration, Department of Personnel and Department of Printing.

The new department would supposedly consolidate “back office” duties in state government.

DIS would actually be parceled out to three agencies: the new Enterprise Services agency, a proposed charter agency on consolidated technical services and what remains of the Office of Financial Management.

The proposal came before the House General Government Appropriations Committee. The governor’s representatives said a bill would be introduced by Monday.

Jeff Paulsen, a Local 443 activist in the Department of Information Services and a member of the union’s task force on information technology shared services, said his agency has been a good provider of cost-effective services to other agencies.

“So we’re concerned about the governor’s statement that the new agency will emphasize competition to get the best price for services,” Paulsen said. “To us that could mean an increased rush to contract out state services best done in-house.”

He urged lawmakers to proceed with caution.

Federation Lobbyist Alia Griffing said employees represented by the Federation transferred in any consolidation must retain their collective bargaining rights.

And there should be no rush to privatization because of provisions in the contract and law on managed competition. That’s the system allowing state employees to keep work targeted for contracting out in-house if they can show they can do it cheaper, faster and more efficiently.

  • House Bill 1209 introduced Monday aims to help Community Corrections officers. It would allow CCOs greater flexibility in determining sanctions for supervision violations and in searches of offenders. The bill has been referred to the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee.
  • And another proposed constitutional amendment has been introduced to extend pay cuts to state elected officials. HJR 4204 has been referred to the House State Government and Tribal Affairs Committee.

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