To ensure Minnesota stays on top of technology developments and challenges, the new governor has formed a task force to study the state’s IT services department.
Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order Feb. 6 establishing the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Council on Information Technology made up of both public- and private-sector experts to advise the governor, the Minnesota IT Services (MNIT) commissioner, lieutenant governor and state legislature on issues related to data privacy, cybersecurity and “modernization projects” such as the Minnesota Licensing and Registration System (MNLARS).
“We recognize the important work done by Minnesota IT Services to provide technology support and services to over five million Minnesotans,” said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, in a statement. “We must not only maintain the state’s IT systems but aim for robust and efficient services to keep government data secure and protected against cybersecurity threats.”
The advisory council, which will be chaired by Rick King, the executive vice president of operations at Thomson Reuters, will be made up of 15 voting members. Nine of those members will come from the existing Technology Advisory Committee, with six members selected by the governor and lieutenant governor from public, private and academic sectors. There will also be four non-voting members coming from the Minnesota House of Representatives, and the Senate.
The council will include three subcommittees to explore data privacy, modernization and cybersecurity, and will hold monthly meetings and prepare quarterly executive-level reports.