FirstNet Brings Additional Coverage and Capacity to Minnesota to Support Public Safety Communications

Big news on the FirstNet front from AT&T in MInnesota…

FirstNet Band 14 Deployment Underway to Further Enhance Emergency Response Across the State

ST. CLOUD, Minn., April 17, 2018 – Additional coverage and capacity is coming to Minnesota’s first responders with the deployment of FirstNet’s public safety spectrum, called Band 14. This will help first responders across the state stay connected to the information they need when responding to emergencies, supporting large events or handling day-to-day operations.

FirstNet is the country’s first nationwide public safety communications platform dedicated to first responders when they need it. Built with AT&T*, in public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority, it gives first responders’ communications capabilities a much-needed technology upgrade.

Recognizing its value, Governor Mark Dayton opted in to the FirstNet state plan in October 2017 to bring Minnesota’s first responders a reliable, highly secure and “always-on” connection.

“FirstNet is dramatically enhancing police work across Minnesota by giving law enforcement access to the most advanced communications capabilities available today,” said First Responder Network Authority Board Member Richard Stanek, who has served as the Sheriff of Hennepin County since 2007. “It will also modernize communications used by fire, EMS and other public safety personnel. This will help all first responders maintain the safety of our neighborhoods and communities, so it’s exciting to see FirstNet’s progress continue with the deployment of Band 14.”

AT&T and the First Responder Network Authority recently announced the launch of the nationwide buildout of FirstNet using Band 14.

Band 14 is high-quality wireless spectrum set aside by the government specifically for FirstNet. It provides good propagation in urban and rural areas, penetrating buildings and walls easily and covering larger geographic areas with less infrastructure. Band 14 also enables high-power user equipment with the ability to radiate at levels 6 times that typically allowed on an LTE system. This means that, as Band 14 is deployed, we can extend the range of LTE coverage much further than it reaches today.

“FirstNet is bringing Minnesota’s public safety community the tools they need to help them respond to any emergency, anywhere,” said Paul Weirtz, president of AT&T Minnesota. “And the deployment of public safety’s spectrum is a big next step in the ongoing build of FirstNet, helping to connect our first responders across agencies, jurisdictions and even state lines, so they can stay safe and save lives.”

After Band 14 is deployed, when FirstNet subscribers are not using that spectrum to support their public safety needs, it can be used to improve service for all AT&T wireless customers across Minnesota. This means they’ll have access to even more coverage and capacity – when not in use by first responders – as Band 14 is built out across the state.

In addition to the FirstNet build, AT&T invested nearly $350 million in its Minnesota wireless and wired networks from 2014-2016. These investments boosted reliability, coverage, speed and overall performance for public safety as well as for Minnesotans and their businesses.

AT&T continued its investment in Minnesota in 2017. Expanding its network in the area has given AT&T the most wireless coverage in Minnesota, and AT&T plans to keep upgrading its network throughout 2018.

Since FirstNet service is an all-band solution – which means it can utilize AT&T’s LTE bands in addition to Band 14 – we’re well positioned to bring Minnesota’s public safety community the best network possible with the coverage and capacity they need to achieve their life-saving missions.

Network Resiliency and Security Playbook for local government

Someone shared this with me, I wanted to pass it on. It’s from November 2017 – it’s a Network Resiliency and Security Playbook written to help local and state governments adopt best practices for preventing significant communications infrastructure failures and stopping or mitigating intrusions, hacking, and other disruptions of communications networks.

Intended audience…

The target audiences for this Playbook include information technology (IT) leaders and staff—the government employees who are responsible for implementing, operating, and maintaining IT systems—and the users of those government networks, including first responders. Because these audiences have a range of IT knowledge and expertise, this document includes high-level introductory information and links to useful background resources, as well as detailed technical descriptions of best practices.

Why you need it…

This Playbook addresses some of the key reasons that local and state government entities need to routinely include security and resiliency in their infrastructure development processes:

  • Local governments are attractive targets for cyber threats because they are often easy targets—especially those that do not have sufficient security resources and expertise

  • Local government networks can also be attractive targets in their own right, given their maintenance of sensitive data such as tax and voter rolls, contracts, procurements, traffic data, public-run utilities, etc.

  • Smaller governments often experience difficulty funding and staffing critical IT functions; as a result, those local governments might delay updating systems and applications, or even patching known issues, due to worry about proper functioning of legacy systems and risk of unintended impacts

  • Poor or inadequate segmentation of government networks can lead to large impacts from modest intrusion efforts

  • Local governments’ networks are increasingly interconnected with other systems, including those of other local governments, federal agencies, and private sector partners

  • Ransomware attacks make any target attractive regardless of size or sensitivity of data

  • Storms, floods, and other natural threats are a constant concern for any network, but especially for mission-critical public safety and government communications networks

If you’re still reading this may be a great tool for you!

Women’s March MN promotes rural broadband in MN

Women’s March Minnesota recognizes the role ubiquitous broadband plays in equitable access to civic engagement…

The Women’s March Minnesota is committed to ensuring that the voices of women from all backgrounds and identities are heard. That includes the voices of the rural populations that lack affordable access to broadband technology.

The Women’s March movement has been lauded for their use of social media. The Washington Post said, “Taken collectively, the Women’s March on Washington and its many affiliated “sister” marches were perhaps the largest single demonstration of the power of social media to create a mobilization.” However, to participate fully in such online civic engagement, all people in Minnesota need access to broadband. (Broadband is also tool for economic developmenteducation, healthcare and quality of life.)

Rural areas do not have equitable access. Currently 73 percent of Minnesota households have access to speed goals for 2026 (100 Megabits per second down and 20 Mbps up), while only 57 percent of rural households have access to the same speeds.

The Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalitionfocuses on equitable access to broadband. They are asking the 2018 Legislature to fund the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant program with $51.48 million to achieve the state’s 2026 broadband speed goal equitably throughout the state. Funding is required to encourage and support public-private partnerships to deploy better broadband in areas where it is otherwise not economically feasible.

The Coalition is asking supporters of rural broadband to contact their legislators in support of funding the Border-to-Border Broadband program, HF3527/SF2787. Tell them why you think equitable access to broadband is essential to everyone. The Coalition is also hosting a Day on the Hill on April 12.

Great broadband digital inclusion project ideas from Minnesota

The Blandin Foundation works with communities to help them better use better broadband. They’ve been doing it for years and sometimes I get lucky enough to be a part of the projects. Each community works with a community broadband coach (Bill Coleman – another consultant on the Blandin Broadband Team); he helps them figure out their community priorities and where broadband fits in.

Then each community submits broadband proposals (to the community team, then Blandin) for potential funding. These projects are well thought out, vetted and most are well executed. (As my kids say – sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. Sometimes the projects are good learning opportunities and those lessons get shared.)

Today I’m pleased to share a matrix of the most recent projects. It’s a great list of ideas you could try in your own community. I suspect the layout of the projects will not be perfect – you can get a nicer, printable version too.)

Also – it’s a gentle reminder that Blandin is looking for future communities – deadline is May 31, 2018. (You can learn a lot more about the program in this archive of a recent webinar on it.)

 Community Project Owner Project Name Project Description
Aitkin County Aitkin County Aitkin County Community Calendar Create a county-wide landing page for events sponsored by Aitkin County Chambers, Schools and other organizations.
Aitkin County Aitkin County Community Conference Centers Provide three small communities with conference/meeting suites, including a mobile computer lab, smart boards, other digital equipment, and Wi-Fi hotspots for use by residents, community education and others.
Aitkin County Aitkin County Wi-Fi Network for Small Cities Provide Wi-Fi for the central hub of Palisade to attract commercial growth, promote connectivity, enhance education, and promote telehealth. This project will serve as a pilot for Wi-Fi networks in other small cities.
Aitkin County Aitkin County Wi-Fi at Berglund Park Provide Wi-Fi at the Palisade city park campground – a main entry point for the Northwoods ATV Trail and important source of economic activity. Park usage is anticipated to increase with Wi-Fi availability.
Aitkin County East Central Regional Library Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspots The East Central Regional Library will obtain 14 mobile hotspots and make them available to patrons at the Aitkin Library and other outreach locations in Aitkin County, providing internet access to county residents who don’t have broadband.
Aitkin County ISD 1 Aitkin Public Schools Wi-Fi Enabled Buses Install Wi-Fi on four school buses so students will be able to work on homework while traveling to and from home, and on longer trips.
Aitkin County Long Lake Conservation Center Wi-Fi and Increased Bandwidth at Long Lake Conservation Center Increase the Internet bandwidth to the LLCC campus, and improve the Wi-Fi network. This will improve working conditions for the staff, increase the effectiveness of programming offered, and make the center a more desirable event venue.
Chisholm Chisholm Community Education Community Training Sessions Training sessions on internet use (social media, security, Facebook) to be offered free of charge to the community. CHS students will be on hand to help class participants as they utilize the training.
Chisholm Chisholm EDA Community Website/Portal Develop a community portal and calendar for community information and events, including marketing, tourism, school events, city and chamber.
Chisholm Chisholm EDA Community Hot Spots Provide Wi-Fi hotspots at the Chisholm Public Library, Lake Street Pocket Park, Balkan Community Center, and HRA Apartment Complex.
Chisholm Chisholm EDA The “Business Perks” Building Develop a technology center with rental space/incubator space available for businesses. Broadband/Internet/website/social media training opportunities for businesses will be offered.
Chisholm Chisholm Public Library Hot Spot Check-Out System Provide fifteen hotspots with mobile data plans for check out at the Chisholm Public Library.
Chisholm ISD 695 Chisholm Public Schools Wi-Fi on Buses Install Wi-Fi on two school buses, allowing students taking longer bus trips to have access to the internet. Bus Wi-Fi may be used for community events as well.
Chisholm Minnesota Discovery Center Minnesota Discovery Center Broadband Connection Upgrade Wi-Fi throughout the Minnesota Discovery Center, allowing for better access during meetings, for events, and for patron/staff use.
Chisholm / Hibbing / Mt. Iron-Buhl Chisholm EDA Central Range Area Feasibility Study Hire a consultant to conduct a feasibility study to better understand options for improving broadband infrastructure and services within the designated area, present the resulting plan and funding options to city councils, townships, school boards and the St. Louis County Board, and assist with grant writing as requested.
Ely City of Ely – Ely EDA Homegrown Ely Website (Elyite.com) Create a website to showcase Ely to prospective residents, businesses, and visitors. The site will include information on the cost of living, the arts, restaurants, churches, business opportunities, infrastructure, etc.
Ely Entrepreneur Fund Digital Marketing for Small Businesses Engage seven small business owners (selected through an application process) in hands-on consulting to build brand awareness and increase revenue by developing and implementing affordable website and social media strategies.
Ely Incredible Ely Ely Technology Center Utilize current space in the downtown business district to provide a shared office space with high-speed Internet for local telecommuters, entrepreneurs, and visitors.
Ely Entrepreneur Fund Ely Small Business Workshop Series Provide three structured workshops on timely topics for small business owners. Local facilitators will share practical tools and ideas on topics such as digital marketing, employee recruitment, and QuickBooks.
Ely City of Ely Ely Area Broadband Feasibility Study Conduct a feasibility study that will provide factual information about market demand, technology alternatives, deployment and maintenance costs, network operation and marketing. It will include installation of fiber within the City of Ely, and extending throughout the entire school district area. Project partners will use the data generated to develop a plan for service delivery.
Ely Incredible Ely Business Development/Broadband Survey Conduct a survey on business development and internet usage data as well as projected broadband usage information, with the goal of bringing broadband to Ely and making it an economic success.
Grizzlies

(Bois Forte, Cook, Orr)

Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Indians Business Training and Community Education Design and provide community technology education programs at Bois Forte, Orr Center, Cook Library and Community Center, and North Woods High School. Topics will be determined based on community feedback.

 

 

 

MN Bill (HF4137) to replace Office of MN.IT with a Division of IT is introduced

A bill (similar to SF2966) is introduced

Nash introduced:

  1. F. 4137,A bill for an act relating to state government; abolishing the Office of MN.IT Services; establishing a division of information technology within the Department of Administration; requiring agencies to obtain competitive bids for information technology projects; amending Minnesota Statutes 2016, sections 16E.01, subdivision 1; 16E.015, by adding a subdivision; 16E.016; 16E.02; 16E.055; 16E.14; 16E.18, subdivision 4; Minnesota Statutes 2017 Supplement, section 16E.0466, subdivision 1; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 3; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 16E.145.

The bill was read for the first time and referred to the Committee on Government Operations and Elections Policy.

Here is the text

A bill for an act
relating to state government; abolishing the Office of MN.IT Services; establishing
a division of information technology within the Department of Administration;
requiring agencies to obtain competitive bids for information technology projects;
amending Minnesota Statutes 2016, sections 16E.01, subdivision 1; 16E.015, by
adding a subdivision; 16E.016; 16E.02; 16E.055; 16E.14; 16E.18, subdivision 4;
Minnesota Statutes 2017 Supplement, section 16E.0466, subdivision 1; proposing
coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 3; repealing Minnesota Statutes
2016, section 16E.145.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

[3.9736] EVALUATION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
PROJECTS.

Subdivision 1.

Definition.

For purposes of this section, “information technology project”
means a project performed by the Division of Information Technology under a service-level
agreement for a state agency.

Subd. 2.

Selection of project for review; schedule for evaluation; report.

Annually,
the legislative auditor shall submit to the Legislative Audit Commission a list of three to
five information technology projects proposed for review. In selecting projects to include
on the list, the legislative auditor may consider the cost of the project to the state, the impact
of the project on state agencies and public users, and the legislature’s interest in ensuring
that state agencies meet the needs of the public. The legislative auditor may include
completed projects and ongoing projects and shall give particular consideration to forensic
review of high-profile problematic projects from which recommendations may be developed
to prevent problems on future projects. Annually, the Legislative Audit Commission shall
select at least one information technology project for the legislative auditor’s evaluation.
The legislative auditor shall evaluate the selected information technology project according
to an evaluation plan established under subdivision 3 and submit a written report to the
Legislative Audit Commission.

Subd. 3.

Evaluation plan.

By November 1, 2018, the Legislative Audit Commission
shall establish an evaluation plan that identifies elements the legislative auditor must include
in an evaluation of an information technology project. The Legislative Audit Commission
may modify the evaluation plan as needed.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 16E.01, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Creation; chief information officer.

The Office of MN.IT Services 
Division of Information Technology
, referred to in this chapter as the “office,” “division,”
is an agency in the executive branch headed by a under the supervision of the commissioner
who also is the state chief information officer
 of administration. The appointment of the
commissioner is subject to the advice and consent of the senate under section 15.066.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 16E.015, is amended by adding a subdivision to
read:

Subd. 2a.

Commissioner.

“Commissioner” means the commissioner of administration.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 16E.016, is amended to read:

16E.016 RESPONSIBILITY FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES
AND EQUIPMENT.

(a) The chief information officer is responsible for providing or entering into managed
services contracts for the provision, improvement, and development of the following
information technology systems and services to state agencies:

(1) state data centers;

(2) mainframes including system software;

(3) servers including system software;

(4) desktops including system software;

(5) laptop computers including system software;

(6) (4) a data network including system software;

(7) database, (5) electronic mail, office systems, reporting, and other standard software 
tools
;

(8) business application software and related technical support services;

(9) (6) help desk for the components listed in clauses (1) to (8) (5);

(10) (7) maintenance, problem resolution, and break-fix for the components listed in
clauses (1) to (8) (5); and

(11) (8) regular upgrades and replacement for the components listed in clauses (1) to
(8); and (5).

(12) network-connected output devices.

(b) The chief information officer is responsible for providing or entering into managed
services contracts for the provision, improvement, and development of the following
information technology systems and services to a state agency, at the request of the agency:

(1) desktops including system software;

(2) laptop computers including system software;

(3) database, office systems, reporting, and other standard software tools;

(4) business application software and related technical support services;

(5) help desk for the components listed in clauses (1) to (4);

(6) maintenance, problem resolution, and break-fix for the components listed in clauses
(1) to (4);

(7) regular upgrades and replacement for the components listed in clauses (1) to (4); and

(8) network-connected output devices.

(b) (c) All state agency employees whose work primarily involves functions specified
in paragraph (a) are employees of the Office of MN.IT Services in the Division of Information
Technology under the Department of Administration
. This includes employees who directly
perform the functions in paragraph (a), as well as employees whose work primarily involves
managing, supervising, or providing administrative services or support services to employees
who directly perform these functions. The chief information officer may assign employees
of the office division to perform work exclusively for another state agency.

(c) (d) Subject to sections 16C.08 and 16C.09, the chief information officer may allow
a state agency to obtain services specified in paragraph (a) through a contract with an outside
vendor when the chief information officer and the agency head agree that a contract would
provide best value, as defined in section 16C.02, under the service-level agreement. The
chief information officer must require that Agency contracts with outside vendors ensure
that systems and services are compatible with standards established by the Office of MN.IT 
Services
 the Division of Information Technology.

(d) (e) The Minnesota State Retirement System, the Public Employees Retirement
Association, the Teachers Retirement Association, the State Board of Investment, the
Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, the State Lottery, and the Statewide Radio
Board are not state agencies for purposes of this section.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 16E.02, is amended to read:

16E.02 OFFICE OF MN.IT SERVICES DIVISION OF INFORMATION
TECHNOLOGY
; STRUCTURE AND PERSONNEL.

Subdivision 1.

Office management and structure.

(a) The chief information officer is
appointed by the governor commissioner, subject to the advice and consent of the senate
under section 15.066
. The chief information officer serves in the unclassified service at the
pleasure of the governor commissioner. The chief information officer must have experience
leading enterprise-level information technology organizations. The chief information officer
is the state’s chief information officer and information and telecommunications technology
advisor to the governor.

(b) The chief information officer may appoint other employees of the office division.
The staff of the office division must include individuals knowledgeable in information and
telecommunications technology systems and services and individuals with specialized
training in information security and accessibility.

(c) The chief information officer may appoint a Webmaster responsible for the supervision
and development of state Web sites under the control of the office division. The Webmaster,
if appointed, shall ensure that these Web sites are maintained in an easily accessible format
that is consistent throughout state government and are consistent with the accessibility
standards developed under section 16E.03, subdivision 9. The Webmaster, if appointed,
shall provide assistance and guidance consistent with the requirements of this paragraph to
other state agencies for the maintenance of other Web sites not under the direct control of
the office division.

Subd. 1a.

Accountability.

The chief information officer reports to the governor 
commissioner
. The chief information officer must consult regularly with the commissioners
of administration, management and budget, human services, revenue, and other
commissioners as designated by the governor, on technology projects, standards, and services
as well as management of resources and staff utilization.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2017 Supplement, section 16E.0466, subdivision 1, is amended
to read:

Subdivision 1.

Consultation required.

(a) Every state agency with an information or
telecommunications project must consult with the Office of MN.IT Services Division of
Information Technology
 to determine the information technology cost of the project if the
division is selected by an agency to perform the project
. Upon agreement between the
commissioner of a particular agency and the chief information officer, the agency must
transfer the information technology cost portion of the project to the Office of MN.IT 
Services
 commissioner of administration. Service level agreements must document all
project-related transfers under this section. Those agencies specified in section 16E.016,
paragraph (d) (e), are exempt from the requirements of this section.

(b) Notwithstanding section 16A.28, subdivision 3, any unexpended operating balance
appropriated to a state agency may be transferred to the information and telecommunications
technology systems and services account for the information technology cost of a specific
project, subject to the review of the Legislative Advisory Commission, under section 16E.21,
subdivision 3
.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 16E.055, is amended to read:

16E.055 ELECTRONIC GOVERNMENT SERVICES.

A state agency that implements electronic government services for fees, licenses, sales,
or other purposes must may use the single entry site created by the chief information officer
for all agencies to use for electronic government services.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 16E.14, is amended to read:

16E.14 MN.IT SERVICES INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY REVOLVING
FUND.

Subdivision 1.

Creation.

The MN.IT services information technology revolving fund
is created in the state treasury.

Subd. 2.

Appropriation and uses of fund.

Money in the MN.IT services information
technology 
revolving fund is appropriated annually to the chief information officer 
commissioner
 to operate information and telecommunications services, including
management, consultation, and design services.

Subd. 3.

Reimbursements.

Except as specifically provided otherwise by law, each
agency shall reimburse the MN.IT services information technology revolving fund for the
cost of all services, supplies, materials, labor, and depreciation of equipment, including
reasonable overhead costs, which the chief information officer commissioner is authorized
and directed to furnish an agency. The chief information officer commissioner shall report
the rates to be charged for the revolving fund no later than July 1 each year to the chair of
the committee or division in the senate and house of representatives with primary jurisdiction
over the budget of the Office of MN.IT Services Division of Information Technology.

Subd. 4.

Cash flow.

The commissioner of management and budget shall make appropriate
transfers to the revolving fund when requested by the chief information officer. The chief
information officer may make allotments and encumbrances in anticipation of such transfers.
In addition, the chief information officer commissioner, with the approval of the
commissioner of management and budget, may require an agency to make advance payments
to the revolving fund sufficient to cover the office’s division’s estimated obligation for a
period of at least 60 days. All reimbursements and other money received by the chief 
information officer
 commissioner under this section must be deposited in the MN.IT services
information technology revolving fund.

Subd. 5.

Liquidation.

If the MN.IT services information technology revolving fund is
abolished or liquidated, the total net profit from the operation of the fund must be distributed
to the various funds from which purchases were made. The amount to be distributed to each
fund must bear to the net profit the same ratio as the total purchases from each fund bears
to the total purchases from all the funds during the same period of time.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 16E.18, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

Subd. 4.

Program participation.

The chief information officer may require request the
participation of state agencies and , the commissioner of education, and may request the 
participation of
 the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota, and the Board of
Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, in the planning and
implementation of the network to provide interconnective technologies. The Board of
Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities may opt out of participation as
a subscriber on the network, in whole or in part, if the board is able to secure
telecommunications services from another source that ensures it will achieve the policy
objectives set forth in subdivision 1.

Sec. 10. OFFICE OF MN.IT SERVICES; TRANSFER.

Minnesota Statutes, sections 15.039 and 43A.045, apply to the transfer from the Office
of MN.IT Services to the commissioner of administration.

Sec. 11. REVISOR’S INSTRUCTION.

(a) The revisor of statutes shall change “Office of MN.IT Services” to “Division of
Information Technology” and change “commissioner of MN.IT Services” to “commissioner
of administration” wherever these terms occur in Minnesota Statutes. The revisor of statutes
shall change “the office” to “the division” throughout Minnesota Statutes, chapter 16E.

(b) The revisor of statutes shall recodify Minnesota Statutes, chapter 16E, in Minnesota
Statutes, chapter 16B.

Sec. 12. REPEALER.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 16E.145, is repealed.

Sec. 13. EFFECTIVE DATE.

Sections 1 to 12 are effective July 1, 2018, and apply to contracts entered into on or after
that date.

Minnesota’s SF2966 – bill that replaces Office of MN.IT with a Division of IT is moved to Committee on Finance

A bill that gets rid of the Office on MN.IT (Information technology) and establishes the Division of IT within the Department of Administration has been moved from Committee on State Government Finance and Policy and Elections to Committee on Finance. The bill also required agencies to get competitive bids of IT projects. You can find the latest version of the bill online.

The MN Senate Daily Agenda Addendum reports…

CHIEF SENATE AUTHOR: KORAN

Senator Kiffmeyer from the Committee on State Government Finance and Policy and Elections, to which was referred

S.F. No. 2966A bill for an act relating to state government; abolishing the Office of MN.IT Services; establishing a division of information technology within the Department of Administration; requiring agencies to obtain competitive bids for information technology projects; amending Minnesota Statutes 2016, sections 16E.01, subdivision 1; 16E.015, by adding a subdivision; 16E.016; 16E.02; 16E.055; 16E.14; 16E.18, subdivision 4; Minnesota Statutes 2017 Supplement, section 16E.0466, subdivision 1; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 3; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 16E.145.

Reports the same back with the recommendation that the bill be amended and when so amended the bill do pass and be re-referred to the Committee on Finance.

MN Legislation to abolish MNIT introduced

According to Capital View

One of the state agencies under fire for its work on the troubled vehicle licensing and registration system would be abolished under legislation introduced Monday in the Minnesota Senate.

Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Vernon Center, is proposing to eliminate Minnesota IT Services (MNIT) in its current form and create a new information technology division within the Department of Administration. The department’s commissioner, rather than the governor, would appoint a chief information officer to head the division.

Rosen said the bill was inspired by the problem-plagued launch of the Minnesota Licensing and Registration system (MNLARS).

MNIT Commissioner responds…

MNIT Commission Johanna Clyborne criticized the proposal.

“I am disappointed by the knee-jerk reaction to release a bill to disband Minnesota IT Services,” Clyborne said. “While I understand the frustration Minnesotans and lawmakers have with the MNLARS system, and I share it, this short sighted bill does not take into account the many successful projects that MNIT delivers on behalf of Minnesotans, nor would it help state government overcome the challenges inherent in modernizing decades-old IT systems and the government processes they support.”