The Office of Information Technology Services (OITS) was formerly known as the Division of Information Systems and Communications. This name change became effective in fall 2011. The history of the former organization began when the Division of Information Systems and Computing merged with the Telecommunications office on July 1, 1984 creating the Division of Information Systems and Communications (DISC). Newly available technologies had the potential to reduce unit costs for information processing and to provide the ability to perform functions never before possible under a consolidated unit. The state realized the need to coordinate the infusion of new technologies to maximize its return on investment before replacement. The merger placed more authority over computer and communications plans with the Secretary of Administration without changing the responsibilities of the two organizations.
K.S.A. 75-4701 et seq contains the original statutory legislation of the Division of Information Systems and Communications. Established in 1972, DISC centralized computer data processing for all state agencies except Board of Regents Institutions. In addition, it was responsible for approving the acquisition of data processing equipment for all state agencies, including Regents Institutions and developing computer programs for those state agencies wishing to contract for the service. The division operated without directly appropriated funds and relied on receipts derived from charges for services provided.
Central Telephone Service began in 1974. Statutory authority, under K.S.A. 75-4709 et seq, vests in the Secretary of Administration all manner of telephone operator communications. The Secretary of Administration controls the acquisition, retention and use of all telecommunication services for all state agencies. The Division of General Services transferred the Central Telephone Service program to DISC in 1987.
The statutory charter of the Telecommunications Office contained in K.S.A. 75-4709 et seq, assigns communication functions and responsibilities to the Secretary of Administration. The secretarial directive established the Telecommunications Office in August 1975. The 1976 legislation gave DISC authority to set work priorities for the central computers, to set standards for data submitted for processing on the central computers, and to refuse to process work due to lack of capacity or non-compliance with standards. The legislation established a computer services depreciation reserve fund to allow DISC to recover depreciation costs as a part of the charges assessed for data processing services.
In 1988 legislation consolidated DISC’s operation by eliminating the Computer Services Fund, the Computer Services Depreciation Reserve Fund, and the Communications Services Fund. The legislation created an Information Technology Fund and an Information Technology Reserve Fund.
1989 legislation consolidated the Central Mail Service operation by eliminating the Central Mail Service Revolving Fund and the Capitol Area Mail Service Fund, creating a Central Mail Service Fund to address cash flow problems.
1992 legislation authorized DISC to provide telecommunication services to units of local government. This change affords benefits to state and local government by sharing statewide network costs among a broader user base, and by exchanging information among levels of government through a common telecommunications infrastructure.
1996 legislation amended K.S.A. 75-4709 to authorize the Secretary to extend telecommunications services to hospitals and non-profit entities that are performing on-going activities in support of state missions.
1998 legislation (K.S.A. 75-7201 et seq) revised the state’s approach to the governance of information technology. The bill created a Chief Information Technology Officer (CITO) for each branch of government, a Chief Information Technology Architect (CITA), and the Information Technology Executive Council (ITEC). The bill also established a $250,000 level for approval of information technology projects with oversight provided by the renamed and reconstituted Joint Committee on Information Technology (JCIT). 2005 legislation abolished the Computer Services Recovery Fund and transferred all liabilities to the Information Technology Fund.
In August 2011, the name of the Division of Information Systems and Communications was changed to the Office of Information Technology Services. The central mail service operation was transferred to the Department of Administration, Office of General Services.
In July 2018, the Office of Information Technology Services changed its agency number and separated from the Department of Administration.
2018 Legislation (K.S.A. 75-7236, 75-7237, 75-7238), the Kansas cybersecurity act, established the Kansas Information Security Office (KISO) and the position of Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) as well as the responsibilities of that office and the duties of the agencies.
The Office of Information Technology Services, also known as OITS, is responsible for providing efficient and effective electronic information processing and technical management services to all state agencies in a uniform and cost-effective manner.
Collectively, as the State of Kansas’ IT Leaders, we will manage the State’s information technology capability in such a way that is:
• Financially Responsible – We will be efficient with the State’s resources, and ensure they are committed to projects and assets that deliver the most value to the people of Kansas.
• Highly Performant – We will ensure the State’s mission-critical systems and data are responsive, reliable and secure.
The Office supports its operations via recharge billings to state agencies and local units of government for the information technology services it provides. These shared services save the state substantial money by reducing duplication of hardware, software and technical staff. OITS sets rates and maintains accounts according to federal regulations set by the Office of Management and Budget and overseen by the Federal Health and Human Services Office of Cost Allocation. Federal guidelines include OMB Circular A-87 and Circular A-25. In addition, the federal government requires OITS to practice full accrual GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) accounting.