San Francisco Department of Technology faces audit after CIO departure

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The San Francisco Department of Technology (DT) will receive a performance audit following the recent news of Chief Information Officer Miguel Gamiño’s departure to New York City to serve as chief technology officer.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin requested the audit during a Board of Supervisors Government Audit and Oversight Committee hearing Thursday, the San Francisco Examiner reported.

“There have been many conversations at the board about DT and complications with its efficiency, modernization, project delivery,” Peskin said. “There has been a high turnover of CIOs there which has created an uncertainty. I think this might be the optimal time to have a performance audit.”

San Francisco officials said plans to launch citywide internet will not be delayed by Gamiño’s departure, the Examiner reported.

Deputy city administrator and interim CIO Ken Bukowski told StateScoop that the performance audit is part of a regular cycle in which all departments are evaluated at one time or another. As to Peskin’s comments about DT’s “complications,” Bukowski said he couldn’t hazard a guess as to what the supervisor meant.

“From my point of view, we welcome the performance audit,” Bukowski said. “We think it’s a good time to go through that process, especially when we’re looking at bringing on a new CIO. The department itself is well positioned. We just created a new five-year strategic plan with a vision, values, specific areas where we’re focusing on.”

In the 14 years Bukowski has been with the city, he said he’s watched DT go through varying levels of performance, but based on their recent interviews with customer departments, they’re in a great position today. In fact, he added, the Controller’s Office recently entrusted the technology department with managing a complete rehaul of the city’s financial management system over an outside vendor.

“It’s things like that that demonstrate the city — in its major projects and something as major as completely redoing its financial management system — trusts DT to be the ones who are supporting and running that operation,” Bukowski said.

High turnover is common for public chief information officers, where politics and competition with the private sector make long-term retention uncommon.

Gamiño was appointed San Francisco’s CIO in late 2014 after serving in an interim capacity for several months. Gamiño entered as a replacement to Marc Touitou, who served only 14 months.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin was contacted for this article but did not respond in time for publication.

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California, Chief Information Officer (CIO), San Francisco, State & Local News, States
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