Gov. Bev Perdue wants to take a look at privatizing parts of the state's IT operations.
In a memo to cabinet secretaries and executive branch agency heads, Perdue wrote that state spending on information technology accounted to more than $1.1 billion in fiscal 2009, and agencies under Perdue's control were more than half that total.
By August, Perdue's memo says, the state will be ready to ask a consultant to study the IT operations and make recommendations on how to save money and run things more efficiently. The idea was proposed by Perdue's budget reform commission.
"The goal is to move aggressively toward an improved IT infrastructure that will lower costs, reduce complexity and redundancy, improve the utilization of resources and increase security," Perdue wrote.
Chrissy Pearson, a spokeswoman for Perdue, said it's important to remember that no decisions have been made.
"I would caution anyone from thinking this is a done deal. This is a request to get information on how this might work," Pearson said. "Jobs remain on the top of the governor's list. While she is trying to trim the fat, she's not specifically looking to lose state employees for the sake of losing state employees."
Pearson said contracts could, for example, require that the private contracts keep some or all of the current IT employees.
To avoid conflicts of interest, the firm selected to study the IT operation would be banned from getting a contract or subcontract for taking over for the state.
The memo also says that a private contractor will play a role in developing a new state web portal.
The contents of the memo were reported Tuesday by InformationWeek.