Jindal IT consolidation plan gets legislative OK

Lawmakers have signed off on Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposal to consolidate computer maintenance work across most state agencies into one office.

The Senate gave final passage Thursday to the merger in a 36-1 vote.

The budget assumes $25 million in savings from the consolidation. The savings will come from merging software licenses, hardware maintenance agreements and contract services, from increased bulk purchasing of computer products and from cutting vacant jobs.

Senate Bill 481, by Republican Sen. Jack Donahue, of Mandeville, creates a new Office of Technology Services under the oversight of Jindal’s Division of Administration, with more than 800 state employees. Agencies will be charged rates for services to cover its costs.

Higher education and elected officials are excluded from the consolidation.