Under the Dome

McCrory goes techie, creates state Innovation Center

Gov. Pat McCrory Thursday announced the creation of an Innovation Center in state government that will work to improve the state's information technology systems.

The center will be on the ground floor of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

At a news conference, McCrory said the new center would seek to make state government more efficient by improving communication between state agencies. It also would test new technology equipment before the state purchases it, and would make it easier for citizens to access state government websites.

“This collaborative approach allows us to share facilities, test the latest technology and it does not require any more taxpayers dollars,” McCrory said.

He said he hoped the center would help avoid cost overruns such as the Medicaid management Information System which was estimated to cost $93 million but actually cost $230 million.

The news conference was attended by House Speaker Thom Tillis, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, Chris Estes, the state's new chief information officer, as well as officials from state agencies and universities, and private companies.

Earlier this week, the state auditor released a report that said the state spent $356.3 million more than expected on 84 IT projects during Gov. Bev Perdue’s administration. It also found that the projects took longer to complete than initially estimated.

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