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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i


Proposed State Office Of Technology Scrutinized On Guam
Lawmakers seek clarification of new law and positions

By Louella Losinio

HAGTA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, Jan. 25, 2013) – The public hearing yesterday on the establishment of a new Office of Technology raised questions on the proposed creation of new positions under the new unit.

Bill 4-32 seeks to create a new Office of Technology as an integral part of the Department of Administration, with the authority to advise and make recommendations to all local government units on their information systems.

The proposed department will also have the authority to oversee the coordination of the government’s technical infrastructure.

During the public hearing, Sen. Aline Yamashita asked if Gov. Eddie Calvo supports the statements presented in the testimony during the hearing, especially the provision on hiring a chief information officer and chief technology officer to run the agency.

Yamashita said, "I was wondering because he’s made it very clear in some transmittal to us that no new position shall be created, certainly the funding aspect of it."

Ed Camacho Cruz, chief information officer of the Bureau of Technology, said the governor is aware of the statements in the testimony.

Yamashita later acknowledged that new positions may have to be created to catch up with the evolution of government processes.

Intent

Meanwhile, Cruz said he fully supports the intent of the bill, which is to create an entity responsible for all facets of information technology within the government of Guam executive branch. However, he is also pushing for additional language or mandates that will strengthen the office’s responsibilities and duties.

Moreover, Cruz emphasized in his testimony that requirements for information technology have increased while government infrastructure, staffing and planning have stayed the same.

"An increase in broadband adoption and availability on Guam has transformed the way we do business in our everyday lives. This transformation must also include our government by providing effective, efficient and convenient solutions for the many services we offer," he added.

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