FAQs for Employees – February 14, 2014

14 Feb

IT Consolidation Broad Overview

What is “IT Consolidation”?

IT Consolidation refers to the development of a comprehensive and coordinated vision, strategy, and approach to transform the State of Louisiana’s IT services and operations to improve services, increase efficiencies, and lower costs. Key elements of the IT Transformation framework include:

  • IT Infrastructure Services
  • IT Application and Data Sharing
  • IT Service Excellence
  • IT Governance
  • IT Operating Model
  • IT Talent Management
  • Change Management and Communications
  • IT Volume Procurement and Enterprise Licensing

What is the scope of the project?

The scope of the IT Consolidation project includes all key elements required by agencies to successfully deliver their mission to constituents. In general, all State cabinet agencies under the Governor in the Executive Branch are included in the scope of this project. Agencies under other statewide elected officials and higher education are not mandated to participate, but they can receive services provided by the new consolidated IT organization. IT Consolidation implementation will take place at the Statewide and agency levels, and will focus on priority initiatives identified during the planning process. These projects will be supported by key changes in IT Governance, IT Finance, and IT Workforce Management.

Why is the State undertaking this effort now?

Over time, the State has developed and maintained a decentralized approach to administrative support services, including IT, leading to redundant and inefficient IT infrastructure, applications, data, and services, as well as ineffective or non-existent Statewide IT standards, and a piecemeal approach to IT governance. As the State continues to confront significant fiscal challenges, it is critical to manage the State’s IT resources efficiently and effectively, for example, by sharing IT staff and resources in order to mitigate reduced IT staffing levels.

What are the expected outcomes of the project?

At this point, the IT Consolidation initiative has identified three areas where positive outcomes are strongly indicated:

  • Efficiency – Reducing and optimizing IT spending per unit via eliminating duplicative systems, as well as improving purchasing power by combining procurements
  • Effectiveness – Improving ability to align IT resources with the business priorities of agencies, improved reliability, and industry standard delivery of IT services
  • Resource sharing – Greater data sharing to reduce costs and improve services, reduced dependence on redundant and duplicative systems and processes, as well as strategic allocation of scarce human and financial resources

Consolidation Oversight

What is the IT Consolidation Project?

In support of continuing efforts to reduce spending and improve efficiency in Louisiana state government, the State contracted with Deloitte Consulting to create a roadmap for transforming Louisiana’s IT environment into a consolidated model for service delivery. Since November 2013, the Deloitte Project Team has been interviewing departmental/agency CIOs, business leaders, and staff, as well as examining the existing infrastructure, services and organizational structures of current IT operations. The initial results indicate opportunities for significant positive transformation. To address these opportunities, the Project Team is developing a series of strategic and operational plans to implement key IT shared service projects that will enable IT Transformation.

How is Deloitte approaching the IT Consolidation project?

Deloitte’s approach to the IT Consolidation project consists of the following major tasks:

  • Discovery and Planning
  • Review and analyze Louisiana’s current IT environment
  • Document the State’s key IT business needs
  • Benchmark key performance indicators against both public and private industry standards to identify gaps and improvement opportunities
  • Identify Shared Service Opportunities for improvements in cost, efficiency, and the quality of IT services provided by the State
  • Recommend a new model to support future changes to the transformation effort
  • Create an implementation roadmap to guide the implementation of recommendations

Who is overseeing the IT Consolidation project?

The Project Team is reporting directly to the State CIO who is in turn working closely with the Commissioner of Administration and executive management across all cabinet departments under the Governor. All participants are wholly committed to working closely with all State departments to achieve consensus, clarity of vision, and efficient execution of the consolidation. Results in other State’s consolidation efforts strongly indicate that a successful consolidation requires all participants to take ownership of the project. In short, one of the principal owners of the project must be the entire IT staff of the State.

What is the proposed timeline for the project?

The project plan is currently in Phase Four: Implementation Strategy & Roadmap which will be completed in early March 2014. A timeline of the planning phase is available here. Early plan development resulted in actionable consolidation elements that are already in motion such as consolidation of the mainframe environment for several departments. Once the plan is finalized, consolidation will be an on-going iterative process as the State moves towards the ideal model for the new centralized Office of Technology Services (OTS).

Transfer of Employees on March 16, 2014

Who is “on the list” to be transferred?

On March 16, 2014, over 800 IT staff will be transferred from their respective agencies and departments to the Division of Administration (DOA); this is the initial step towards the creation of the Office of Technology Services (OTS). This transfer specifically encompasses employees with IT job titles in the Departments/Agencies within the scope of consolidation. Each organization included in the consolidation will receive a detailed list of the specific employees that are included in the March 2014 transfer. The Departments/Agencies within the scope of the consolidation are:

    • Division of Administration
    • Office of the State Inspector General
    • GOHSEP
    • Louisiana Public Defender Board
    • Board of Tax Appeals
    • Office of Elderly Affairs
    • Louisiana State Racing Commission
    • Office of Financial Institutions
    • Office of Coastal Restoration & Protection

Will any support personnel be transferred if they are not currently in a position with an IT job title

Administrative assistants, time keepers, and other staff that support IT but do not have specific IT job titles are not included in the initial transfer on March 16, 2014. However, as we move forward and engage in more in-depth discussions with each respective agency and department, select support staff will also be eventually transferred to the DOA and/or OTS. Each organization included in the consolidation will be engaged in discussions to determine the specific employees who will be included in a subsequent transfer of support personnel.

Will some employees lose their job? Will there be a layoff? Will there be a retirement incentive?

There is no intention to conduct layoffs or offer retirement incentives. The consolidated organization may ultimately be smaller than the number of employees being initially transferred, but this will be a function of natural staff attrition. We encourage employees not to seek alternative employment simply out of fear of the unknown. This will be a time of transition for everyone, but we hope that IT employees will help work towards an efficient integrated organization that is ready to meet the State’s IT challenges. In fact, consolidation may prove to be a source of opportunity—current IT employees may have a much wider range of functions and job growth than they currently have in their respective organizations.

Will transferred employees have the same job title and salary?

Initially, the transfer is an administrative move only. Therefore, the March 2014 transfer will not result in any change to job titles, salaries, duties, and responsibilities. As employees move into the new organization structure for OTS, there will be opportunities for changes in job titles and positions. The process for accomplishing the realignment will be in full compliance with the reorganization rules, policies, and procedures established by the Department of State Civil Service.

How will the transfer affect each job?

Initially, the March 2014 transfer will not result in any immediate change to the job functions or supervisory structure for the large majority of employees. Employees will continue to do the same work in the same workplace where they are currently assigned. They will physically remain positioned in their agencies, even though they have become DOA employees, to ensure that there is no interruption of critical support services. Employees will also retain their current badge access rights.

During the realignment process, some employees may eventually take a position within the new organization that necessitates a change in their work location while other employees may continue to work in the same location as they did prior to their transfer. As we move forward, the intent is to structure common IT function groups to ensure economies of scale and efficiencies for the new integrated organization.

Some employees being transferred have unclassified positions. Will these positions be classified after the transfer?

All employees being transferred will continue to be structured in the same way as their current position. Employees in classified positions will continue to be in classified positions; those in unclassified positions will continue to be in unclassified positions

Some agencies have probationary periods for new employees. Will transferred employees have to serve any type of probationary period with the DOA?

Transferred employees will not be placed on probation as part of the transfer process. Transferred employees who are currently in a probationary period at their respective agencies will remain on that agency’s probationary period policy.

In the last budget cycle, some Departments were not able to provide their employees with merit increases. Will these employees get a merit increase when they are transferred to the DOA?

No change in base pay is anticipated at the time of the March 2014 transfer process.

Will employees be able to keep current flex time schedules?

Initially, all current work schedules will be maintained. As the consolidation plan is fully realized, the DOA will implement a uniform policy on specific issues, such as telecommuting, on call duty and pay, and flex time work schedules.

Some employees being transferred have k-time. Will k-time hours be transferred?

Yes, all transferred employees will retain k-time hours that they have previously earned.

Will there be any changes to retirement system enrollment?

No change is anticipated for each employee’s enrollment in the state retirement systems. Enrollment in the state retirement systems is governed by eligibility rules and policies that each state retirement system has established.

Will transferred employees be able to keep their state-issued cell phones?

Yes, transferred employees may retain state-issued cell phones. As we move forward, these assets may be transferred to OTS. The decision on whether or not employees retain state-issued cell phones will be made according the individual’s duties and responsibilities.

Will employees who are transferred to the DOA have to get new equipment from DOA (e.g., desktops, laptops for on-call from home, printers), or will they keep their existing equipment owned by their respective agency?

Initially all employees will keep their existing equipment. As we move forward, equipment may be either transferred to the OTS or the DOA/OTS may issue them new equipment.

Do we order IT equipment and supplies through our facility or will OTS complete IT-related procurement?

It is envisioned that the Office of Technology Services will be the sole source of procurement for all IT goods and services.

Other Issues

We understand that not all issues and concerns may be addressed at this time. The planning process is rigorous and on-going. The design, structure, and functions of the new organization continue to evolve. Please check this site regularly; we will make every effort to publish additional information as it is developed and finalized.