LANSING — The House unanimously approved House Bill 5495, sponsored by State Rep. Terry Sabo (D-Muskegon), last week as part of a five-bill package (HB 5492-5495, 5053) aimed at improving Michigan’s information technology (IT) procurement process. The changes outlined in the legislation will include more efficient and cost-effective methods of managing IT systems. Last year, Sabo was appointed to serve on the IT Task Force to evaluate the cost and efficiency of the state’s information technology projects, which led to the introduction of this legislation.

“This is about taking concrete steps to improve state government’s procurement process when it comes to our IT systems,” Sabo said. “We must be vigilant to build in efficiencies to save taxpayer dollars while still protecting against vulnerabilities to outside cyber-security threats. It is more important than ever to ensure our IT systems have the necessary tools to protect the sensitive information of our businesses and residents. This legislation will ensure we still have those tools, but it will save taxpayer dollars in the process.”

House Bill 5495 will require the Auditor General to oversee spending on IT projects and monitor compliance with best practices standards, while other bills in the package seek to increase transparency, centralize operations and ensure accountability from contractors.

This five-bill package have been referred to the Senate Committee on Appropriations.