New California unit to deal with security issues

Friday, 12 July 2002, 11:32 AM EST

Lacking legislative reauthorization, the state's Department of Information Technology (DOIT) officially ceased to exist July 1, largely due to its role in a controversial database licensing agreement with Oracle Corp.

For the interim, state agencies, working with the Department of Finance, must now assume responsibility for their own IT projects. In addition, California Gov. Gray Davis created a new unit, the 10-member Technology Oversight and Security Unit (TOSU), whose task is to come up with a long-term plan to help manage the state's multibillion-dollar IT investments.

The new head of TOSU is Clark Kelso, a law professor from the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific in Sacramento. He said his primary task will be to create a road map for what the unit wants to accomplish over the next 18 months. Among the long-term goals are to make sure all IT purchases are done fairly and ethically, he said. "We want to reduce any appearance of bias or favoritism," Kelso said this week in an interview with Computerworld.

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