Sub. for H.B. 2704, as amended, would enact new provisions and amend current statutes pertaining to state agencies, officers, and employees. The bill would enhance the capabilities of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of state government when reviewing proposed information technology projects and would modify the state's current procedural requirements relative to plans for projects, budget estimates for projects that exceed $250,000, deviations from the state's architecture, and notification of changes in proposed projects. It also would revise the state's classification of certain agency positions and would amend several statutes pertaining to public employees, health care, and graduate students at Regents institutions.
Information Technology Reorganization
The bill would abolish the Kansas Information Resources Council (KIRC) and replace it with the Information Technology (IT) Executive Council. The membership would include 17 statutory participants, including the Secretary of Administration, Executive Branch Chief Information Technology Officer (CITO), two cabinet agency heads, one noncabinet agency head, the Governor's Chief of Staff, the Budget Director, the Board of Regents Executive Director, the Commissioner of Education, the Legislative Branch CITO, the Judicial Branch CITO, the Judicial Administrator, three CITOs or CEOs from the private sector, one city and one county representative from local governments, and the Network Manager from the Information Network of Kansas (INK).
The Secretary of Administration would serve as the Chairperson of the IT Executive Council. Only members could vote and members' designees could attend, but not vote. The Council would establish the state's information technology architecture and policies for all branches of state government. It would retain KIRC's planning duties and KIRC's nonplanning duties would be transferred to the Executive Branch CITO.
A Chief Information Technology Architect (CITA) would be established and the position would be appointed by the Secretary of Administration, with approval of the Governor. The CITA would report to the Secretary of Administration and the Governor, act as staff to the IT Executive Council, and retain the planning and policy duties of the current Chief Information Architect (CIA). The duties would include reviewing Executive Branch agency three-year plans, deviations from IT architecture, threshold IT projects, and threshold IT project overruns. The nonplanning duties of the current CIA position would be transferred to the Executive Branch CITO.
A Legislative Branch CITO position would be appointed by the Legislative Coordinating Council (LCC), with input from the Joint Committee on Information Technology. The duties of the legislative CITO would include reviewing Legislative Branch agency three-year plans, deviations from IT architecture, threshold IT projects, and threshold IT project overruns; serving as staff to the Joint Committee; and performing other tasks as assigned by the LCC.
A Judicial Branch CITO would be appointed by the Judicial Administrator and approved by the Chief Justice. The position would report to the Judicial Administrator. The duties would include reviewing Judicial Branch agency three-year plans, deviations from IT architecture, threshold IT projects, and threshold IT project overruns.
The bill would establish a threshold for IT projects and all state agencies proposing a project costing $250,000 or more would submit a project budget estimate. Whenever the total cost of a project would increase by the lesser amount of $1.0 million or 10.0 percent of the approved cost, then the agency head would be required to notify the Joint Committee. On July 1 of each year, Executive Branch CITO, Judicial Branch CITO, and Legislative Branch CITO would submit three-year plans, budgets for threshold IT projects, threshold IT project overruns, and deviations from IT architecture for agencies in each branch of government.
Two provisions would amend current law regarding certain positions in state government. First, positions in the information resource manager job class series of state agencies would be changed from the classified to unclassified service as present positions become vacant. Second, the Securities Commissioner would be authorized to appoint directors in the unclassified service who shall have unspecified special training and qualifications for such positions. A provision would protect the classified status of any person employed in the Office of the Securities Commissioner prior to this amendment.
Public Employees and Health Care
Three provisions would amend different statutes regarding public employees and graduate students. First, graduate students who receive teaching and research assistantships at Regents institutions would be excluded from the definition of public employee in the Public Employer-Employee Relations Act. Second, the State Health Care Benefits Commission would be prohibited from allowing any public employee who works less than 1,000 hours from participating in the state health care benefits program. A provision would allow continued participation of anyone working less than 1,000 hours who was an active participant in the health care benefits program prior to enactment of this amendment. A third provision would permit Regents institutions to purchase health insurance for graduate students.
The bill would be effective upon publication in the Kansas Register.
The bill, as introduced by the Joint Committee on Computers and Telecommunications, would have abolished the KIRC and replaced it with a legislative-centered structure and review process. Following two meetings with the Governor, amendments to the bill were developed for consideration by the House Appropriations Committee.
The Secretary of Administration and Director of the Division of Information Systems and Communications (DISC) and a member of the Supreme Court offered input in reworking the proposed legislation to provide for shared participation by each branch of government in the new state-level structure and process for reviewing IT projects.
Proponents of the bill as amended who testified before the House Appropriations Committee included Representative Jim Morrison, Chairperson, JCCT; Dan Stanley, Secretary of Administration; and Don Heiman, Director of DISC.
There was no fiscal note available for the bill as amended. It was noted by staff that the cost indicated in the original fiscal note for the bill as introduced had been reduced significantly through the amendments.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee heard testimony from the Secretary of Administration in support of the bill.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee amended the original IT provisions in the bill and also added new provisions that incorporated House Sub. for H.B. 2210, as amended by the House Committee of the Whole, and S.B. 688, as introduced. The Division of Personnel Services representative requested inclusion of provisions from H.B. 2210 and the Securities Commissioner requested provisions affecting that office. The Committee Chairperson suggested adding provisions from S.B. 688 and additional amendatory language requested by the Regents institutions that addresses health insurance for graduate students.
The other Senate Committee amendments to the information technology sections of the bill eliminated the statutory transfer of a certain state officer from the executive to legislative branches of government; changed references from establishing new offices to establishing new positions of Chief IT Officer; clarified that the LCC would select the legislative branch Chief IT Officer, with input from the Joint Committee; and that the LCC would organize the legislative branch agencies. An exemption for local units of government to exclude certain information technology projects in new section 1 was deleted and a reference to the Director of the Budget in new section 9 was changed to the Chief IT Architect who will prescribe the form of a project budget estimate required for submission.
No fiscal note on the bill as amended by the Senate Ways and Means Committee was available.
1. *Supplemental notes are prepared by the Legislative Research Department and do not express legislative intent. The supplemental note and fiscal note for this bill may be accessed on the Internet at http://www.ink.org/public/legislative/fulltext-bill.html.