Thursday, February 17, 2005
Windley and HB109

Windley and Fletcher have been discussing HB109, the bill that would consolidate Utah's IT workers into a single department. Even Fulling got into the mix with a lively discussion with Devin Calcut.

Meanwhile the rumors are flying that Windley is somehow behind all this, or at least set to profit by it. I've even heard that he'll be the new CIO. I don't know how much of that's true. I know Windley had several meetings in Salt Lake last Thursday--I saw him. This is certainly his plan. The bill puts in place a structure that follows. almost exactly, things I heard Windley say when he was CIO. I know he's close to several legislators, so maybe he had some influence or maybe not. One thing is for sure, if Windley came back there would be a lot of people spitting mad.

It would be a mistake for the Governor to appoint Windley because of the divisiveness that would cause. The new CIO has broad powers for hiring new people and that means old people leave. With his history of hiring friends, any hire he did would be tainted. That would make the transition to the new department that much more difficult. No doubt he'd bring Fulling with him--those two are like Click and Clack. It would be like Ground Hog day, but this time, the fur would fly. In any event, I think that's just rumor.

What I do know is that there's lots of very nervous people around here. The bill doesn't transfer people into the new department wholesale. Rather, the new department is created and then the new CIO hires people from the old departments. People with merit status who are transfered retain merit status; but there's not guarantee that you'll be transfered. One rumor has it that Huntsman wants Stewart Nelson to be the new CIO and that he's inclined to let ITS go away with most of its employees still working there. That is, not transfer them and let them all go. That would be the biggest layoff in State history. I don't believe that. I think most of ITS's functions would be transfered with the people in place. The most likely changes will happen in the managerial ranks, not the worker bees.

I've had a few talks with members of Huntsman's IT transition team (led by Nelson) and I get the impression that this bill is out ahead of them. They're still studying things this bill would set in stone. Its not clear to me how much this bill is being driven by Huntsman and how much of it is being driven by others. I've heard from some reliable sources that this bill is completely greased and now that its out of committee, it will likely pass with very few amendments.

I, for one, welcome the changes. For one thing, it keeps life interesting. For another, I'm not worried about my job. If I lose it, I'll just go find another one. I've kept my skills up and know that they're marketable.

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