Richard "Dickie" Howze
Tel: (225) 342-7105
Fax: (225) 219-9465

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 94095
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9095

Physical Address:
Claiborne Building
1201 N. Third St., Suite 2-130
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

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OIT Announcements
Louisiana Senate Confirms Richard "Dickie" Howze as State's CIO

On June 2, 2014, the last day of the 2014 Legislative Session, the Louisiana Senate confirmed the appointment of Richard "Dickie" Howze as the state’s Chief Information Officer (CIO). In April 2013, Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols appointed Howze interim CIO. Before joining the Division's Office of Information Technology, Howze was the Director of Information Technology for the Department of Children and Family Services where he oversaw the modernization and reorganization efforts designed to streamline the agency, decrease DCFS' overall footprint, and implement new technology and systems to provide client services more efficiently. Howze has more than 35 years of public service in the information technology field.


CIO Addresses 2013 CISD Conference

Richard "Dickie" Howze, the Louisiana’s Interim Chief Information Officer was the keynote speaker of the 22nd Annual Council of Information Services Directors Conference (CISD) and Expo held in Baton Rouge on October Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2013. 

His presentation focused on the IT consolidation initiative that  the state will be undertaking in the coming months.  He described  the initiative as a comprehensive transformation of state IT into a single cohesive unit. Consolidation will streamline and optimize IT staff and data resources, processes, and procurement, with the goal of lowering cost and ensuring efficient delivery of  government services to Louisiana's citizens.  Deloitte Consulting which has supported similar IT consolidation projects in other states, including New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, has been awarded the RFP contract to be Louisiana’s partner in this initiative. 

The CIO noted that the success of the consolidation is dependent on the engagement and the combined effort of all of the state’s IT professionals.  To facilitate a transparent and collaborative process, a Web site that will serve as a communications channel for information about the consolidation has been launched at 

The CISD Conference brought together state agency and higher education information systems and management professionals to address a broad range of information technology topics and cutting edge technologies; vendor exhibits covered a wide range of IT services and products.

Posted 10/04/2013

Louisiana Receives National Award for Innovation

Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler received the 2013 NASS IDEAS Award from the National Association of Secretaries of State for its creation of the Geaux Vote Mobile application and website. Launched in 2011, Geaux Vote was developed for smart phones to assist citizens in confirming their voter registration information, finding their polling place, accessing sample ballot information and finding their voting district.

Geaux Vote Mobile exemplifies best practices in state government nationwide by reducing voter apathy and increasing participation," said NASS President Ross Miller of Nevada. "As one of the first states to embrace mobile technology for assisting citizens and increasing voter registration numbers, we are proud to honor Louisiana for leading the way on this issue and being willing to share their great idea with Secretary of State offices throughout the U.S." Read the Announcement.

Posted 07/25/2013

Commissioner Nichols names Richard "Dickie" Howze as State's interim Chief Information Officer

 Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols announced today that Richard "Dickie" Howze will serve as the state's interim Chief Information Officer. In his role as interim CIO, Howze will be tasked by Commissioner Nichols with a main focus of assisting the Department of Health and Hospitals to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of all of DHH's IT products and services. 

Howze comes to the interim CIO job from his current position of Director of Information Technology for the Department of Children and Family Services. In this role, he oversees the modernization and reorganization efforts designed to streamline the agency, decrease DCFS' overall footprint and implement new technology and systems to provide DCFS' clients with more efficient and effective services. Howze brings more than 34 years of public service in the Information Technology Division. Read the Announcement.

Posted 04/12/2013

Commissioner Nichols Announces Ruth Johnson as State's Chief Information Officer

Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols announced that Ruth Johnson will serve as the state’s Chief Information Officer. Johnson will replace Ed Driesse, who is retiring.

The state’s CIO heads the Division’s Office of Information Technology, and plays a major role on matters related to IT and IT resources, including policies, standards, hardware and software deployment, strategic and tactical planning, acquisition, management, and operations in keeping with industry trends. Read the Announcement. 

Posted 02/08/2013

Louisiana Earns an A- for Government Transparency
For the second year, Louisiana received an A- from the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, a consumer-watchdog organization that promotes and evaluates transparency in government spending. Louisiana earned the distinction of a leading state, one of only seven in the nation, for LaTrac, the state's Transparency and Accountability Portal, a searchable database that allows citizens to view the state government's checkbook from a single source - who receives state money, how much, and for what purposes.

It was also cited as having taken the lead among states in providing detailed performance evaluations of government agencies by listing specific agencies' yearly objectives along with their actual performance. Read the report, Following the Money 2012: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data.

Posted 04/04/2012 
CIO Addresses CISD Conference

Ed Driesse, Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Louisiana state government, was the keynote speaker of the 20th Annual Council of Information Services Directors Conference (CISD) and Expo. His presentation focused on technology challenges that state government must meet through transformative innovation and intelligent leadership. He reiterated that the end goal for technology innovations is always to provide effective government services to Louisiana's citizens. The Conference held in Baton Rouge October 10-11, 2011 brought together state agency and education information systems and management professionals to address a broad range of information technology topics and cutting edge technologies. View the CIO's presentation.

Ed Driesse also invited conference attendees at all levels in their organization to submit any innovative ideas to him this through this survey.

LDCFS Secretary Receives NASCIO Technology Innovator Award

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) honored Ruth Johnson, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, with the association's State Technology Innovator award at NASCIO's 2011 Annual Conference in Denver.

Johnson was chosen for her efforts to leverage technology in state government to keep children safe, help individuals and families become self-sufficient, and provide safe refuge during disasters. Her leadership in advancements in services delivery, adoption of new technologies, and use of best practices can be seen in Louisiana's Common Access Front End for multiple public assistance programs, which will launch statewide early in 2012, and Tracking of Time Services (TOTS) for the Child Care Assistance Program, which has saved an average of $2.2 million per month. Other innovations led by Johnson include the implementation of 1-888-LA-HELPU, a single call and 1-855-4LA-KIDS, a centralized intake hotline for child protection investigations.

NASCIO presents the State Technology Innovator Award on an annual basis to recognize state leaders who steadily promote innovation, excellence and good government. Nominees must be an employee of, elected official, appointed official or other appointee representing state government.

Posted 10/04/2011

The Office of State Purchasing is increasing the individual line item unit cost and the total release/purchase order amount on the Microcomputer & Peripheral Contracts. The individual line item unit cost is being increased from $25,000 to $50,000 and the total release/purchase order amount that can be issued against these contracts is being increased from $500,000 to a limit of $1,000,000. The $1,000,000 is a "per release/purchase order" limit and is not a limit on the annual amount that can be purchased from the contract. Procurements shall not be artificially divided to circumvent either threshold. Read OSP Memorandum 12-02.

Louisiana gets an 'A-'

Louisiana is one of five states recognized as a leading state by a national government watchdog group for its efforts to provide transparency and accountability on state spending. The United States Public Interest Research Group, an organization that advocates for the public interest to ensure a responsive democracy, graded all 50 states on how well they provide online access to information about government spending.

Top-ranked states with an 'A' are Kentucky and Texas. An 'A-' was awarded to Louisiana, Arizona, and Indiana.  These five leading states were lauded for providing information that is highly searchable, and include detailed data about government contracts, tax subsidies and grants to businesses. LaTrac, the state's transparency and accountability website, helped Louisiana get its grade.

Check out the information on LaTrac.  Read the report, Following the Money 2011.

CIO Addresses CISD Conference

Ed Driesse, Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Louisiana state government, was the keynote speaker of the 19th Annual Council of Information Services Directors Conference (CISD) and Expo.  His presentation focused on the economic and technology challenges facing state government and the initiatives and resources that will be implemented to meet these challenges.  The Conference held in Baton Rouge October 4-5, 2010 brought together state agency and education information systems and management professionals to address a broad range of information technology topics and cutting edge technologies. View the CIO’s PowerPoint Presentation. 

Louisiana Earns "B" rating in 2010 Digital States Survey

Thanks to the leadership of Governor Bobby Jindal and CIO Ed Driesse, the Office of Information Technology is proud to announce Louisiana’s “B”  rating in the 2010 Digital States Survey.  The Survey, conducted biannually in even years, is a comprehensive examination of the best practices, policies, and progress made by state governments in their use of digital technologies to better serve citizens and businesses, realize efficiencies, and streamline operations. The survey is conducted by the Center for Digital Government.

This year, only thirteen states earned higher ratings than Louisiana, marking Louisiana’s continued climb to the top.  In the 2008 Survey, Louisiana ranked 21st, having moved up from 40th in 2006.  Read the 2010 Survey Report. 

October is "Cyber Security Awareness Month"

Governor Bobby Jindal issued a proclamation declaring October as “Cyber Security Awareness Month” to help raise awareness about the importance of cyber security and the shared responsibility we all have to improve cyber security preparedness. Conducted every October since 2004, National Cyber Security Awareness Month is a campaign designed to encourage everyone to learn about cyber security and put that knowledge into practice in their homes, schools, workplaces, and businesses.

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) provides a comprehensive approach to help enhance the security of the State. Louisiana is a member of the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), a collaborative organization with participation from all 50 States, the District of Columbia, local governments, and U.S. Territories. MS-ISAC provides a 24x7 central resource for gathering information on cyber threats to critical infrastructure and providing two-way sharing of information between and among the states, territories, and with local government. Read the proclamation. 

Louisiana's Disaster Food Stamp Pre-Application Receives National IT Award

 Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has received the 2010 Recognition Award for Excellence in Human Services Information Technology Award for the DSNAP pre-application program, which allows low- to moderate-income Louisiana residents who think they could be impacted by a disaster to pre-apply for benefits online or by phone.  Read the Announcement. 

Office of Information Technology publishes Louisiana's 2010 IT Strategic Plan: Realigning IT

The Strategic Plan addresses major initiatives designed to realign IT so that it meets these goals: streamline government, ensure efficiency, and improve service delivery. It also provides guidance on the goal of implementing enterprise shared IT services by centralizing utility-class services common to most state agencies and decentralizing agency support functions that are unique requirements of core missions. This working document aims to secure the shared-service/agency-services balance that state government requires to meet the changing needs of agencies, citizens, and businesses. Read the IT Strategic Plan.

Telecommunications Information Notice 10-01: Line of Service Rate Adjustments for Data Dial Tone and LINC Services

The Office of Telecommunications Management (OTM) recently completed a review of its line of service rates which resulted in lower rates for several lines of services.  Rate revisions will be effective with the July OTM bill. Reviews are periodically conducted to ensure that OTM is in compliance with various state and federal guidelines which govern the operations of internal service funds. Read TI Notice 10-01.

Release of Memorandum OSP 10-10: Change to Microcomputer & Peripheral Contracts
The Office of State Purchasing has increased the limit on the total release/purchase order amount that can be issued against these contracts from $250,000 to a limit of $500,000. Read OSP 10-10 Memorandum 
RFP for Statewide Fraud Detection System

This Request for Proposals (RFP) is issued by the Division of Administration, Office of Information Technology (OIT) for the purpose of soliciting proposals from organizations capable of delivering an enterprise class Fraud Detection System (FDS).

The RFP requires prospective proposers to offer comprehensive solutions that (1) are based on an understanding of the requirements listed, (2) are scalable to be expanded to include additional beneficiary agencies and data sources in future releases of FDS, and (3) ensure an appropriate level of data security based on State and Federal regulations, agency requirements, and industry best practices.

The RFP (in Microsoft Word) is being provided for the convenience of interested bidders. Log in to the Louisiana Procurement and Contract (LaPAC) Network for the RFP document and any subsequent addenda. 

Pre-Proposal Conference held April 1, 2010: PowerPoint Presentation.

IT Centralization

Act 772 of the 2001 Regular Legislative Session created the Office of Information Technology, empowering the CIO to oversee and coordinate the centralization of technology systems, including consolidation, outsourcing, and sharing of statewide resources and services.  The goal is to manage information technology from a statewide perspective, allowing agencies to easily share services and data, conduct interagency projects, share state employees’ technical proficiencies, and provide better services to the public. Guided by streamlining and budget initiatives, plans to centralize the state’s IT infrastructure and personnel resources  which  include consolidating hardware, software, and personnel for use as shared resources across all state departments will proceed immediately.

The CIO will be contacting agency IT Directors in the near future to discuss plans in greater detail. Agency cooperation is essential to assure success.

Read Memorandum from the Commissioner of the Division of Administration.

Release of Memorandum OSP 10-09: Changes to Brand Name Networking Contracts

The Office of State Purchasing  issued Memorandum OSP 10-09 notifying all users of the Brand Name Networking Contracts about changes to the following specifications/requirements of the brand name networking contracts: Scope of Products and Services, Definitions, and IT/Telecom Networking Product Categories.  See Memorandum OSP 10-09

Statewide E-mail Storage Limits Increased

The Office of Information Technology announced that effective February 1, 2010, the standard mailbox size provided to statewide email customers will increase from 50 megabytes to 100 megabytes. Centralized archival storage is also provided for a nominal fee. In 2011, costs will decrease further to $5 for mailbox service and additional Exchange storage per gigabyte will decrease from $30 to $10. The $4 per gigabyte cost for archival storage will remain the same, and instant messaging is planned to be discontinued.

These cost reductions (down from $16 per mailbox in 2003) are being realized due to the large number of agencies participating in the consolidation and standardization of statewide e-mail to a single, central service.

For additional information, contact Wanda Smith, Information Technology Director, Office of Computing Services, Office (225) 342-9903, Fax (225) 342-5137.

$12.4 Million in Federal Funds Awarded to Improve Broadband Access in Morehouse Parish

Louisiana state government's Office of Information Technology, a part of the Division of Administration, announced today that the Northeast Louisiana Telephone Co. has been awarded more than $12.4 million in federal funds to improve broadband access in rural Morehouse Parish. The funds were awarded under the Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service, and consist of a grant of $4.36 million and a loan of $8.12 million. Read the Press Release. 

Release of OSP 10-05: BlackBerry Devices and Service Available Directly to State Agencies via WSCA Contracts
Effective January 19, 2010, the Office of Telecommunications Management (OTM) will delegate to state agencies the telecommunications authority to acquire BlackBerry devices and service directly from contract vendors. State agencies will no longer be required to obtain BlackBerry devices and service through OTM. Agencies will be able to directly use wireless telecommunications contracts established by the Office of State Purchasing through the state's participation in the Western States Contracting Alliance (WSCA). See Memorandum OSP 10-05 
Release of Memorandum OSP 10-04: Guidelines for Procurement of Software, Software Maintenance, Hardware Maintenance and Software Support Services
The Office of State Purchasing has released updated guidelines for Procurement of Software, Software Maintenance, Hardware Maintenance and Software Support Services. See Memorandum OSP 10-04
Louisiana Rankings of Broadband Technology Opportunities Program Grant Applications
Louisiana submits rankings of 93 grant applications across 6 project categories to the U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Association's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. See the rankings. 
FY10-11 IT Budget Requests Due on November 5, 2009

IT Requests in support of IT initiatives included in the 2010-2011 budget process are due to OIT no later than Thursday, November 5, 2009.

CIO Presentation to Advisory Group on IT Integration on October 6, 2009

CIO Ed Driesse gave a presentation supporting state government integration of IT services to the Advisory Council on IT Integration of the Commission on Streamlining Government. Watch the video of the meeting.

CSSA Process Will Expire October 3, 2009

The procurement process called Consulting and Support Services Agreement (CSSA) will not be renewed after all Tier One contracts expire on October 3, 2009. All future competitive I.T. procurements will be processed through existing Office of State Purchasing or Office of Contractual Review processes. See CSSA Expiring Announcement

Release of Memorandum OSP 10-02 - Brand Name Microcomputer & Peripheral Contracts

The Office of State Purchasing and the Office of Information Technology have released the revised procedures for the Brand Name Microcomputer and Peripheral Contracts. To access revised procedures see, Memorandum OSP 10-02

VPN Access

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has declared a Public Health Emergency for the swine flu. Even though there have been no reported cases in Louisiana, it would be prudent for each IT Director to ensure that agency personnel with VPN access privileges test network connectivity in their respective homes.

IT Request Workflow System Enhancement Release 2

 Enhancement Release 2 was implemented July 31, 2009. Enhancements include online access to print IT Request Log, produce a sample IT-0, Clone an IT Request and many others. For a more detailed list of enhancements, see the IT Request Workflow System User Manual

Welcome to the first edition of LaGov News!

 This LaGov Newsletter is designed to inform you of the progress of LaGov, the State's Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Project. It provides pertinent project news, project status and other important information.

CSSA Update

 Due to insufficient usage of the CSSA contract process, no new CSSA contracts will be issued. All CSSA contracts that were previously awarded will expire October 3, 2009. After that date, agencies will follow standard solicitation procedures as required by the Office of Contractual Review and the Office of State Purchasing. Future plans for CSSA are under review and will be posted on the OIT web site as information becomes available.

Louisiana Tech Data Replication / Backup Center Announced

 Effective January 7, 2009 a data replication and backup center will be available for agencies at Louisiana Tech. For more information, please reference OIT Bulletin 08-09.

New State CIO Announced

 Commissioner of Administration, Angele Davis, announced today that Mr. Edward Driesse has been chosen to serve as Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Louisiana state government effective August 4, 2008.

New ListServ to provide automated notices about OIT Bulletins

 OIT has created a new ListServ to provide e-mail notification when new Information Technology Bulletins from the Office of Information Technology are posted on the OIT website. This OIT ListServ is intended for use by anyone and is in addition to the OIT-Notification Listserv, which provides technical notices for state agencies.

IT Request Workflow System

 All Information Technology (IT) and telecommunications related initiatives meeting the Criteria for Submittal of an IT Request require that an IT Request be submitted to OIT for Review. [ Access The IT Request Workflow System ] System conversion was completed on August 14, 2008. Please update any old bookmarks that you may have.

Enterprise Resource Management Project

 The intent to award the ERP contract has been issued. IBM has been selected to receive the award of File No. RFP#: OIT-ERP-080307, to provide a Solution-Based Statewide ERP Financial Administration Projectx.