Representative Rakestraw Reviews Technology in Georgia

Paulding County, GA – Representative Paulette Rakestraw (R-HD19) spent the day with the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA), reviewing the state’s technology infrastructure and information and plans for efficiency and security of public data housed in Georgia.  Rep. Rakestraw was appointed by Speaker David Ralston to the Georgia Technology Authority Oversight Committee last year to review the state’s infrastructure and technology systems.

Calvin Rhodes, chief information officer for Georgia, led the meeting, held at the GTA offices.  Joe Webb, deputy executive director of the GTA, Steve Nichols, chief technology officer, Tom Fruman, senior enterprise governance and planning officer, and Jeff McCord, director of intergovernmental relations, were there to present information to Rep. Rakestraw and to answer questions.

Throughout the state budget cuts, Georgia has centralized its technology infrastructure, information systems, data management, security, and telephony systems to streamline government services and make them more robust and cost effective.  The GTA provided Rep. Rakestraw  with a status report on the implementation timeline, identifying which agencies have been centralized already and the measurable results of that effort in terms of efficiencies gained.

The Georgia Enterprise Technology Services (GETS) division has worked to modernize the state’s information technology (IT) infrastructure to allow better management of IT resources, so that government can meet its service obligations to Georgia’s citizens.  It has a predictable spend, better security, and a robust disaster recovery system for emergencies.  A centralized effort has also enabled GETS to replace an aging IT infrastructure more cost effectively than would have been possible with the compartmentalized, multi-departmental approach that previously existed.

L-R:
Jeff McCord, GTA Director of Intergovernmental Relations, Calvin Rhodes, GTA Chief Information Officer, State Representative Paulette Rakestraw  (R-HD19), Steve Nichols, GTA Chief Technology Officer, Joe Webb, GTA Deputy Executive Director, and Tom Fruman, GTA Senior

The Georgia Technology Authority is a state authority that is self-funded through data sales and administrative fees and has public/private partnerships with outside companies to provide centralized information systems efficiently and cost effectively throughout the state. The GTA manages the state’s central IT infrastructure, data center, security, network, and telecommunication services. The vision statement of the GTA is, “To provide exemplary customer service; to enable business solutions for Georgia’s state government; to lead change for Georgia’s state government.”

Rep. Rakestraw commented, “The centralization of our State’s IT infrastructure was a huge undertaking, but it has helped our state be more efficient, cost effective, and secure —things I believe every tax-paying citizen seeks from their government.  I am honored to serve on this oversight committee, looking at how our state can be more efficient in the technology realm.”

Rep. Rakestraw, Paulding County’s first female legislator, represents the citizens of District 19 in Paulding County.  She was elected to the House of Representatives as the Vice Chair for the Science and Technology committee and serves on the Special Committee for Small Business and Job Creation, Special Rules, Juvenile Justice, and Economic Development Committees.