(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Dan Benson, Elizabeth Muoio and Reed Gusciora opposing the governor’s decision to reorganize the New Jersey Office of Information Technology was approved Monday by the General Assembly.
“This reorganization makes no sense, and will lead to increased operational inefficiencies and hinder important OIT functions such as identifying waste and fraud,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “The state should instead focus on enhancing OIT capabilities and building upon their record of success.”
“Restructuring the OIT has the potential to waste taxpayer dollars by delaying the development and implementation of work product and infrastructure improvements,” said Muoio (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “The possible detrimental effects on the state’s technical infrastructure are concerning to us, and should be concerning to the governor.”
‘More than 180 application development specialists will be transferred to various state agencies under this reorganization. The disbursement of these specialists hinders their ability to identify waste, fraud, and abuse, as well as their ability to access and share information with other technical experts,” said Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “This was a bad call by the governor.”
The resolution (AR-281) expresses opposition to the Governor’s Executive Order 225 of 2017. Issued on June 1, Executive Order 225 of 2017, among other things, calls for the decentralization of certain software development and maintenance functions and operations of The New Jersey Office of Information Technology (OIT). The agency provides application development and maintenance services, data management, and telecommunications expertise, including in areas relative to cybersecurity, to departments and agencies in the Executive Branch.
The executive order authorizes the transfer of core OIT functions, including application and software development and maintenance, to other agencies of state government in violation of separation of powers principles and in violation of the Presentment Clause of the New Jersey Constitution. The transfer of these core OIT functions raises concerns about adverse effects on the state’s technical infrastructure, including the transfer of approximately 186 application developers from the OIT to various state agencies. In addition to being an unconstitutional exercise of executive authority, the executive order authorizes the CTO to undertake a reorganization that may well cause inefficiencies and delays that impair the state’s critical information technology infrastructure.
The resolution requests the governor rescind those provisions of Executive Order 225 of 2017 that authorize the transfer of core functions of the OIT to other agencies, including the application and software development and maintenance functions and operations for agency-specific applications that do not serve shared business requirements across the Executive Branch in violation of separation of powers principles and the Presentment Clause of the New Jersey Constitution.
The bill was approved 43-24-0 by the Assembly, and now awaits further consideration by the Senate.