New central IT agency positions the State of Washington for the future

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A new state agency, Washington Technology Solutions (WaTech), formed today as a result of the passage of E2SSB 5315, signed by Governor Jay Inslee on July 30th 2015. WaTech aligns central information technology functions into one agency, combining the former Office of the CIO (OCIO), Consolidated Technology Services (CTS), and parts of the Department of Enterprise Services (DES). The new organization will house approximately 570 state employees, with an expected $2.4 million in savings through lower administrative costs.

State Chief Information Officer Michael Cockrill shall serve as Director of the new agency and a member of the Governor’s Executive Cabinet.

Governor Inslee, together with state technology leaders, sought to align central IT functions to deliver more value and faster services to both state agencies and Washington state citizens. It builds upon previous consolidation efforts to optimize coordination, eliminate waste, and streamline decision-making. “WaTech positions our state for the future, allowing state government to better leverage modern technology to create a truly world-class IT organization,” said Inslee.

The new agency will unify the state IT vision and road map, strengthen IT project oversight, and allow quicker adoption of leading industry technology practices. “This alignment is a move towards a more modern, agile government that recognizes the positive impact technology can have on the challenges we face as a state,” said WaTech Director Michael Cockrill. “I am privileged to work with our state’s technologists to both deliver vital services to citizens, and reinvent how the state best uses technology moving forward.”

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