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Blue Ribbon Information Technology Council Created
Minnesota Ag Connection - 02/08/2019

Governor Tim Walz signed Executive Order 19-02 establishing the Blue Ribbon Council on Information Technology. The members of the council will include private and public sector information technology experts who will advise the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, the Minnesota IT Services (MNIT) Commissioner, and the state Legislature on issues relating to cybersecurity, data privacy and modernization projects such as Minnesota Licensing and Registration System (MNLARS). The council will be chaired by Rick King, executive vice president of operations at Thomson Reuters.

In addition, Walz will submit a deficiency request of $15.74 M dollars to the legislature not only to continue the development and fixes to the MNLARS system, but also to ensure that there are adequate staff in Driver and Vehicle Services to deliver license plates, vehicle titles and driver's licenses into the hands of Minnesotans in a timely manner after they visit a deputy registrar's office or Driver and Vehicle Services.

"Minnesotans expect reliable, secure, and accurate information technology services when they interact with the state. That is why the Blue Ribbon Council on Information Technology was created, to ensure the people of Minnesota have access to high-quality, dependable services," said Walz.

"We recognize the important work done by Minnesota IT Services to provide technology support and services to over five million Minnesotans," said Lt. Governor Flanagan. "We must not only maintain the State's IT systems but aim for robust and efficient services to keep government data secure and protected against cybersecurity threats."

The Governor's Blue Ribbon Council on Information Technology will be an advisory group to the Governor and Lieutenant Governor made up of experts on development and implementation of IT in private and public institutions. The Council will provide advice on how to update and maintain the State's IT systems to ensure that Minnesota residents and businesses who interact with the State receive the best possible service. Members of the Council will also advise on the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars invested in IT projects, while keeping government data secure and protecting the State against cybersecurity threats. The Council expands the existing Technology Advisory Committee and will include additional members with IT expertise and state legislators.

The six additional members appointed by the Governor and Lieutenant Governor should have private-sector or public-sector IT experience, or experience in academia pertaining to IT. Candidates interested in applying to serve on the council should submit a cover letter and resume to by the close of business on Feb. 21.

Walz has asked Kathy Tunheim, CEO of Tunheim Partners, to convene an interview panel of private and public sector IT experts to screen candidates for the appointment of the MNIT Commissioner. Under Tunheim's leadership the panel will continue to accept application materials and interview candidates over the next month before advancing three finalists to the Governor and Lieutenant Governor for a final appointment decision.

Individuals seeking appointment to be the Commissioner of MNIT should email a resume and cover letter to by Feb. 18. The application materials will be transmitted to the hiring committee led by Tunheim.

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