Texas information department named top place to work

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The Texas Department of Information Resources was named one of the top workplaces in Austin, Texas, for 2014 by the Austin American-Statesman based on the results of an independently conducted survey.

The department serves more than 4,400 publicly funded organizations in Texas, including more than 275,000 state employees, managing the state’s technology initiatives such as security, communications technology services, cooperative contracts, data center services and Texas.gov, the state’s official Web portal.

“Encouraging a positive and collaborative workplace is one of my top priorities for the agency,” said Karen Robinson, the executive director of the department and the state’s chief information officer. “It is an honor to work every day with the best and the brightest in state government.”

Employee satisfaction has been a main focus of the department’s senior staff. To help keep morale high, the department gives out quarterly employee performance awards to help encourage innovative thinking and positivity in a customer-oriented culture.

The award is the latest achievement the department has garnered in recent months. Texas.gov, which provides more than 1,000 different services to citizens, received a Best of the Web Award earlier this year, and the state’s data center services governance model was recognized in October by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers.

In 2013, Robinson received the NextGen Public Service Award in the advocate category, recognizing the contribution she has made in public technology for the next generation of workers. She also took home a StateScoop 50 award in May as one of state government’s executives of the year.

The coming year will be one of transition for the department.

Last month, Robinson announced that she would be retiring from public service at the end of the year, after leading the department for seven years. During her time, Robinson led a number of important and transformative projects, most notably canceling the state’s long-troubled data center outsourcing contract and rebidding it to a new vendor capable of providing better service.

Robinson also led a restructuring of the department’s executive leadership and has instituted a number of programs to improve the state’s efforts against cybersecurity threats among a number of other projects.

The coming year will also feature a change in the state’s leadership as Attorney General Greg Abbott recently was elected the state’s next governor. He will replace Rick Perry, who has been the governor since George W. Bush was elected president in 2000.

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Greg Abbott, Innovation, Karen Robinson, State & Local News, States, Texas
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