Sunday, January 24, 2010

Carole Wallace Post Takes Helm at New York City's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications

Mayor Bloomberg with Carole Wallace Post.
December 30, 2009
(Photo Credit: Edward Reed) 01/24/2010 San Francisco - Ms. Carole Wallace Post began work as Commissioner of New York City's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) on January 19th. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg appointed Post as Commissioner of the Department, one of the largest muncipal IT and telecom agencies in the world, on December 30, 2009.

Commissioner Post had previoulsy served as Director of Agency Services in the Mayor's Office of Operations where she has helped lead efforts to improve the delivery of City services by leveraging new technologies and reforming and modernizing practices.

She has been at the front of major technological innovations that have made City agencies more efficient, transparent, and accountable, including the creation of the Citywide Performance Reporting system, the City's award-winning Stimulus Tracker database, the Street Conditions Observation Unit (SCOUT), and NYC Stat, the City's website for all essential data, reports, and statistics related to its services.

Commissioner Post succeeds Commissioner Paul J. Cosgrave, who had served as Commissioner since 2006 and announced his resignation in December. The New York City Council and regional media had been critical of the City's Enhanced 9-1-1 (E 9-1-1) upgrade project managed by Cosgrave.

The New York Daily News reported, in an article of last October, that the upgrade effort, branded the Emergency Communcations Transformation Program (ECTP), was then was '2 years late, and $700 million overbudget.' ECTP's problems, in large measure caused by specific project vendors, including Motorala (NYSE: MOT), and Verizon (NYSE: VZ), are reminescent of other large scale E 9-1-1 upgrades around the nation. Verizon's effort to modernize the Massachusetts statewide E 9-1-1 system, for example, was finally halted by the Administration of former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) following multi-year delays, and at least one allegation of a death caused by system call disfunction.

"She has helped pioneer major accountability innovations, which have leveraged technology to improve the services New Yorkers receive from their government," said mayor Bloomberg in remarks announcing the Commissioner's appointment.

"Her capacity for strategic planning and ability to find new ways for technology to improve government services make Carole the perfect person to lead an agency that works every day to provide the public with the highest possible level of customer service," concluded the Mayor, who was elected to a third four-year term in November.

"I've been afforded countless opportunities to help improve the City's ability to serve New Yorkers and I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg for giving me an even greater opportunity to build on the progress we have made," said Commissioner Post.

"I've worked closely with DoITT at the forefront of the City's march toward improving transparency, accessibility, and accountability in the digital age. I look forward to making it easier, faster, and more efficient than ever to interact with the City. My experiences with DoITT have revealed the complexities the agency tackles every day and the skills of the agency staff, who rise to each challenge. It will be a privilege to work side by side with this team."

Commissioner Post will conduct a top-to-bottom review of DoITT and report back to the Mayor in 30 days. The review will be used to determine if the agency is structured to achieve the Administration's goals and will make recommendations, if needed, for how the agency can be adapted to achieve those goals.

The major initiatives led by Commissioner Post that have improved the delivery of City services have largely involved working closely with DoITT. The most significant example of this collaboration is the development of the Citywide Performance Reporting system, which has transformed the way agency performance is measured. Through its website, the system has made the performance of government transparent to the public and holds City agencies accountable by publishing data monthly, which had never been done in City history. The data is used to quickly identify problem areas and improve service.

Additionally, Commissioner Post led the design, implementation, and maintenance of the City's Stimulus Tracker, a comprehensive, interactive database that allows the public to track every dollar of Federal stimulus funding sent to the City, from each Federal appropriation to the vendors receiving stimulus-funded contracts, as well as the jobs created by each project. The Stimulus Tracker, created through a partnership with DoITT, has received national acclaim, including a Digital Government Achievement award from the Center for Digital Government.

The Street Conditions Observation Unit (SCOUT), a team of inspectors tasked with driving every City street once per month and reporting conditions that negatively impact quality of life to 311, and NYC Stat, the City's website for all essential data, reports, and statistics related to City services, are two additional major initiatives Commissioner Post helped pioneer, in concert with DoITT, that have resulted in improved City services and produced a more effective and transparent City government.

Commissioner Post was instrumental in reforming the way the City addresses graffiti, implementing a streamlined process that resulted in nearly double the number of graffiti sites being cleaned. She was instrumental in securing the passage of legislation to make it easier and more efficient for the City to clean graffiti sites as well.

She led the effort to relocate the City's Environmental Control Board from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings. This has allowed DEP to focus on its core mission of protecting the City's waterways and water supply and has helped reduce the backlog of Environmental Control Board cases.
DoITT, established in 1995, oversees the City's use of existing and emerging technologies in government operations, and improves the way the City interacts with the public by utilizing technology to improve services and increase transparency, accountability, and accessibility across all City agencies.

The more than 1,200-person department has a $375 million budget and operates the City's 311 Customer Service Center, maintains the City's official website, and manages the City's television and radio stations. The department is home to the Citywide Geographic Information Systems Unit, which develops and hosts a digital base map used to support City operations. Responsible for coordinating citywide IT policy and planning, including IT security, DoITT operates the City's data center, telephone systems, fiberoptic network, New York City Wireless Network, Citywide Radio Network, 800 MHz radio network, and Enterprise Service Desk.

DoITT administers the City's telecommunications franchises, including high capacity fiber, cable television infrastructure, public pay telephones and mobile telecommunications equipment installed on City property and in City streets.

Commissioner Post started work in the Mayor's Office of Operations in 2006. She began her career in City government in 2001 at the Department of Buildings, where she helped reform various agency policies.
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