History of the California Department of Technology


On July 1, 2002, the statutes establishing the Department of Information Technology (DOIT) were allowed to sunset by the California State Legislature. As a result, decision-making in the Executive Branch for enterprise information technology issues fell to a handful of other agencies exercising discretion pursuant to existing delegations of authority. Decisions about information technology policy, project initiation, project oversight and security policy fell to the Department of Finance, largely on the basis of analytic work performed by what is now known as the Office of Technology Review, Oversight and Security (OTROS). Information technology procurement policy and implementation became the responsibility of the Department of General Services.

Although the DOIT office sunset and its entire staff dissipated, the position of State CIO was retained by Governor Gray Davis. The State CIO was charged with providing leadership on information technology policy and for working collaboratively with other information technology leaders throughout State government. Over time, a collaborative governance process evolved that draws upon IT leaders from all across government in setting overall IT strategy and policy.

Four years after the closing of DOIT, Senate Bill 834 (Chapter 533 Statutes of 2006), now Government Code § 11545, authorized the establishment of the Office of the State Chief Information Officer (OCIO). SB 834 set forth the duties of the State Chief Information Officer (State CIO), a cabinet-level member who would be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor, subject to Senate confirmation. Among the State CIO’s duties were to:

  • Advise the Governor on the strategic management and direction of the State's information technology resources.
  • Minimize overlap, redundancy, and cost in state operations by promoting the efficient and effective use of information technology.
  • Coordinate activities of Agency Information Officers, agency Chief Information Officers, and the Director of OTech for purposes of integrating statewide technology initiatives, ensuring compliance with information technology policies and standards, and promoting alignment of information technology resources and effective management of information technology portfolios.
  • Work to improve organizational maturity and capacity in the effective management of information technology.
  • Establish performance management and improvement processes to ensure state information technology systems and services are efficient and effective.

In August 2007 the Legislature appropriated funds to establish the OCIO as the first cabinet-level agency with statutory authority over strategic vision and planning, enterprise architecture, IT policy, and project approval and oversight (see SB 90, Chapter 183, Statutes of 2007 (PDF, 106 KB)). Together with SB 834, this legislation redefined the role and responsibilities of the State CIO.

Less than two years later, on May 10, 2009, the Governor's IT Reorganization Plan (GRP 1) took effect, consolidating statewide information technology functions under OCIO. Specifically, the Plan:

  • Integrated four agencies - the OCIO, Office of Information Security and Privacy Protection (now Office of Information Security), the Department of Technology Services (now OTech), and the Department of General Services' Telecommunications Division - into an expanded OCIO.
  • Provided the State Chief Information Officer with authority for IT procurement policy and enterprise IT management.
  • Achieved consolidation of software contracts, office automation tools, data centers/computer rooms, servers, storage and networks over the course of five years.
  • Preserved program-specific IT systems and budgets at the agency level.

The following year, in February 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Executive Order S-03-10 (E.O. S-03-10), setting specific target dates for IT consolidation and energy reduction efforts, and requiring the addition of Information Security Officers within state government offices, as recommended by the State CIO.

Then, on September 28, 2010, the Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 2408 (Chapter 404, Statutes of 2010) into law. AB 2408 passed unanimously in the Legislature, codifying GRP 1 as well as E.O. S-03-10 (Government Code §§ 8592.1 et seq., 11534 et seq.) and extending the sunset date of the provisions that first established the OCIO to January 1, 2015. Reflecting the successes of the OCIO, the bill also reestablished the office as the California Technology Agency and renamed the State Chief Information Officer as the Secretary of California Technology.

On July 1, 2013, as part of Governor Jerry Brown's Government Reorganization Plan, the California Technology Agency became the California Department of Technology and now reports through the newly established Government Operations Agency. The organization's mission and authority remain largely unchanged and office locations will be the same.

The reorganization also includes the launch of the new Statewide Technology Procurement Division, which is now responsible for procurement of the state's largest IT projects. Also, on July 1, the Public Safety Communications Office moved to the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (CalOES).

The recognized central IT organization for the State of California, the Department of Technology is responsible for the approval and oversight of all state information technology projects. As the head of the department and as the state’s chief information officer, the Director of the California Department of Technology provides leadership for the state’s IT programs and works collaboratively with other IT leaders throughout the state.