MTA project director chosen to lead IT agency as workers demand upgrades

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy finally announced his new chief technology administrator Thursday, albeit with less fanfare than other agency commissioners received.

But Mark Raymond, the new chief information officer of the Department of Information Technology, will face considerable challenges when he assumes his new role on June 2.

Not only is DOIT slated to be folded into the Department of Administrative Services as part of Malloy’s ongoing efforts to restructure and shrink state government, but enhanced state technology services are a key component of the governor’s tentative concession deal with state employee unions.

“I have the highest regard for Mark’s decades of experience in this field, and believe he will be a tremendous asset as we work to update and reconfigure the state’s information technology systems,” Malloy, who personally introduced several new commissioners just before or immediately after taking office on Jan. 5, said in a released issued Thursday morning.

Raymond has over two decades of technology and business experience consulting in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts that includes working in the areas of finance, payroll, human resources, budgeting and procurement, human services, and transportation, according to the governor’s office. As a consultant, he has worked with federal agencies including the Treasury, the Federal Highway Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Department of Transportation.

The new chief information officer, whose post is equivalent to a state departmental commissioner, most recently served as project director for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority.  Raymond also had served as a consultant to the Connecticut Department of Transportation, where he was responsible for implementing a new system to make billing and recovery of federal dollars more efficient.

“I am honored to join Governor Malloy and his administration and am looking forward to getting started,” Raymond said in the press release. “I recognize the importance of the state being able to do more with less, reduce expenses, and avoid costly processes.  We need to better leverage technology to bring greater efficiency to state operations and more self service options to our citizens.”

One of Raymond’s first responsibilities will be to establish a joint labor-management committee to review the delivery of technology services and to make recommendations on ways to improve efficiency and reduce reliance on private licensing, consultants and hardware and software purchases.

The State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition, which is asking its members to adopt a broad array of wage, benefit and other concessions reportedly worth $1.6 billion in total over two years, insisted that the administration commit to upgrading technology and reduce reliance on private-sector technology firms as a condition of the deal.

“We know that front line IT staff and managers have many good ideas on how to improve our state’s technology system and we are anxious for Mark to begin the process of soliciting their participation in making the major changes necessary in how we deliver technology services statewide,” Malloy said.

The governor also noted that state government’s past approach to technology upgrades has been largely unsuccessful, leaving Connecticut “behind the technology curve.”

“These inefficiencies cost Connecticut taxpayers money and, in some cases, the inability to merge systems and allow agencies to share information is downright frustrating, and even dangerous,” the governor said.

Raymond is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and lives in Glastonbury with his wife and children.