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Dalrymple: Additional Oversight of the Contracting and Implementation Process for Large Scale IT Projects.

WHEREAS, Information technology projects are essential to the ongoing governmental operations of the State of North Dakota; and 

WHEREAS, Large-scale information technology projects are expensive and time consuming, often lasting over a period of years; and  

WHEREAS, State agencies bidding information technology projects currently are not required to review their contracts with other state agencies and officials; and

WHEREAS, oversight of the contracting and implementation process for information technology services is necessary in order to provide consistency and continuity from project to project, to ensure the best interests of the state are considered, to provide better service and protections to state agencies, and to add transparency to the contract process.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jack Dalrymple, Governor of North Dakota, by virtue of my executive authority pursuant to Article V, Section 1 of the North Dakota Constitution, do hereby order as follows:

Section 1:   For the purposes of this executive order, a large-scale information technology project is a project estimated to cost at least $1 million.  All statutorily-created agencies and statutory boards and commissions that have appointed heads are subject to this order.  Executive branch agencies with elected heads are not subject to this Executive Order; however these agencies, except for entities under the control of the State Board of Higher Education, are subject in the 2011-2013 biennium to the information technology planning requirements of Section 11 from Senate Bill 2015, enacted during the 2011 Legislative Session. 

Section 2:  Before an executive branch agency enters into a large-scale information technology project agreement with a vendor, a committee of subject matter experts shall be responsible for reviewing, negotiating, and making recommendations for approval of all contracts and requests for proposal.  All statutorily created agencies and statutory boards and commissions that have appointed heads shall submit all such contract proposals to this committee.  This committee shall consist of three permanent members and two project-specific members, with the three permanent members to be appointed by the Governor.  Permanent members include:  an information technology contract attorney from the Attorney General’s office; an Information Technology Department procurement officer; and an Information Technology Department project management subject matter expert.  Project-specific members include the project sponsor, and one optional member at large from the procuring agency.  Permanent team members will be required to receive specialized training specifically related to their duties. 

Section 3:  At least three votes in favor of a recommendation of approval are needed before the request for proposal or contract may be forwarded by the committee to the Executive Steering Committee. 

Section 4The Executive Steering Committee for each large-scale information technology project must include:  the agency head of the contracting agency or designee, director of the Office of Management and Budget or designee, state Chief Information Officer or designee, a project sponsor, and a large project oversight analyst.  Four affirmative votes are required to make any project decisions relating to contracts, budgets, or scope changes deemed by any one member to be a major project decision.

Section 5:  The contracting agency head and the state Chief Information Officer must both sign all contracts, amendments, and scope changes as directed by the Executive Steering Committee. 

Section 6:  There shall be quarterly meetings at a time to be determined by the Governor’s Office to review the status of all pending large-scale information technology projects.  Entities required to be represented at these meetings include:  the Governor’s Office, Office of Management and Budget, the Information Technology Department, and the project sponsoring agencies. 

Section 7:  If only one project manager is required for a large-scale information technology project, that individual is required to have previously either managed or co-managed an information technology project budgeted for at least $1 million, which must have spanned at least an 18 month timeline with complexities requiring coordination of work between multiple entities.  If multiple project managers are required for a project, the primary project manager must have previously managed or co-managed a project budgeted for at least $1 million, which must have spanned at least an 18 month timeline with complexities requiring coordination of work between multiple entities.  The primary project manager must hold the project management professional credential (PMP) and have sufficient experience in North Dakota project management practices. 

ACCORDINGLY, this order is issued upon the following basis and for the following reasons: 

  1. The Governor is vested with the executive authority pursuant to Article V, Section 1 of the North Dakota Constitution; and
  2. The cost and time required to conduct large-scale information technology projects necessitates oversight of the contracting and implementation process to ensure consistency from project to project, to provide better service and protections to state agencies, and to add transparency to the contracting process.
Signed Executive Order: 
 

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