GOP reps praise computer savings

State Representatives Jason Murphey and Mark Lepak, who currently serve as the chair and vice-chair of the House State Government Operations Committee respectively, are taking note of an important milestone in the effort to unify Oklahoma state government’s information technology resources.

In a recently released report, state IT officials have documented the transition of the IT assets from the Department of Human Services (DHS) IT bunker to the state’s data center.

The state’s IT team successfully transitioned the DHS IT infrastructure from an physical footprint of 8,222 square feet at the DHS IT bunker down to just 100 square feet of floor space at the state data center.

“This 99 percent reduction of floor space represents a massive savings to the taxpayers, and in so many ways exceeds what we envisioned possible when we approved the unification legislation,” said Murphey, R-Guthrie. “In the early days of the unification effort, the primary political opposition to the plan came from the old guard leaders at DHS who sought to be exempted from the reform. More recently, the leadership of DHS changed and the new leaders have embraced the opportunity for cost savings and efficiency.”

Murphey toured the imposing DHS IT bunker at a time when it seemed the agency’s resistance to the reform might prove insurmountable. He described the massive facility as a “maze” and a “tribute to government inefficiency.”

Rep. Lepak observed that the cost savings from the transition extend beyond IT spending.

“This modernization action not only reduces cost but it improves the capabilities and performance of DHS,” said Lepak, R-Claremore. “DHS employees benefit from the modernized hardware and expertise of the unified entity. The hardware upgrades mean DHS employees are spending less time waiting on antiquated IT systems and more time carrying out their mission.”