ND Department of Information Technology asked to delay network overhaul

BISMARCK, N.D. - Governor Doug Burgum wants to rethink government, but some members of the legislature are asking one of the governor's cabinet members to pump the brakes on a serious department overhaul to make sure everything is in line with the law.

The Interim Legislative Management Committee is requesting the Department of Information Technology delay its changes to the state's IT network until multiple committees can evaluate any potential issues.

The committee sent a letter to Chief Information Officer Shawn Riley on Feb. 9th outlining changes they've been made aware of, but not by the agency itself.

"We have an understanding across the cabinet that we would bring these resources together again try to align them to be as effective as they can be, as efficient as they can be, all of which is within the authority of the executive branch," said Riley.

Riley held a conference in Bismarck at the end of 2017 to outline the changes to department employees, but the committee says it hasn't received information that was given to ITD employees.

The changes include moving the state's email server to a cloud based system, reclassifying more than 200 employees from other agencies and reallocating funding from other departments to ITD among others.

"There is an appearance and a possibility that funds are appropriated to one department are being used in another and that's a concern that the legislature has," said House Minority Leader Corey Mock, D-Grand Forks.

The letter states these changes will affect security services and costs of different aspects of state government. The committee requests ITD provide information on the potential impacts on state budgets, information security and the authority to make the changes to the committee.

Legislative Management will meet again on March 19th to discuss the potential changes outlined in the letter.