U.S. Education Department CTO Tapped As Utah's CIO - InformationWeek

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U.S. Education Department CTO Tapped As Utah's CIO

Stephen Fletcher returns home to oversee the centralization of state IT services and workers.

The chief technology officer and deputy CIO at the U.S. Department of Education, Stephen Fletcher, will return home to Utah to become that state's next CIO, charged with centralizing state IT services and workers.

Gov. Jon Huntsman has charged Fletcher, who'll begin his new job May 1, with overseeing a "large, complex bureaucracy with a lot of moving parts. I'm thrilled we have someone of his background, competency, and experience," Huntsman said at a Monday news conference introducing Fletcher, according to a report in Tuesday's Salt Lake City Tribune.

Huntsman, backed by the state Legislature, wants to consolidate more than 1,000 state IT employees into a single department. Many IT workers expressed outrage by the apparent hiring practices of former CIO Phil Windley; a legislative audit in 2002 concluded state IT managers sidestepped or maneuvered around hiring practices to give jobs to nine former colleagues of Windley, the Tribune reported. Employees also are worried that Huntsman's plan to create a single IT department could lead to job cuts.

Fletcher, at the press conference, said he intends to "go into a full information-gathering period" before making any changes. "There's a great opportunity here," he said. "That's what's enticing, intriguing. That's what's bringing me back to Utah--the chance to make an impact on state government."

As CTO and deputy CIO at Education, Fletcher helped establish performance-based contracts and focused on improving business processes centered on service-level agreements with the aim of saving the government millions of dollars a year. Before his IT stints, Fletcher served as deputy assistant secretary for management at Education.

Fletcher studied mathematics and electrical engineering at the University of Utah, where his late father, James, a one-time NASA administrator, served as president from 1964 to 1971.

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