State chief information officers are calling on governors and lawmakers nationwide to lead a renewed push for IT procurement reform to help state governments better meet their technology needs.
The National Association of State CIOs issued a “call to action” for more movement on the issue on Thursday, and laid out a series of steps states can take to overhaul their purchasing practices.
In a release, Darryl Ackley — New Mexico’s secretary of technology and the association’s president — noted that “true state IT procurement reform will not happen overnight,” but still feels CIOs can work with their lawmakers and chief executives to “achieve their vision of digital government and enjoy cost savings, efficiencies and enhanced services for the citizens they serve.”
The group specifically feels that if states remove unlimited liability clauses in IT contracts, and make terms and conditions in those contracts more flexible, then the procurement process will start to run more smoothly. Additionally, NASCIO urges states to abolish the practice of requiring that companies obtain performance bonds — bonds from lenders guaranteeing the satisfactory completion of a contract — before embarking on a project with the government.
The association also hopes to see states improve the contract negotiation process and use existing enterprise architecture to help lower costs for IT procurement.
NASCIO believes the issue of procurement reform is crucial for every state, citing its 2015 survey of state CIOs that showed that nearly half of respondents view IT procurement in a negative light. Similarly, the group found that 70 percent of its corporate partners are “moderately to very dissatisfied” with state IT procurement processes.