Committee Approves Bill Would Streamline Criminal Justice

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation advanced by a House committee would improve information sharing between state criminal justice agencies.

“Information sharing is a critical part of law enforcement and public safety,” said the bill’s author, state Rep. Pat Ownbey, R-Ardmore. “An efficient system improves the safety and criminal justice services provided to Oklahomans.”

House Bill 1083 would create a shared infrastructure dubbed the “Criminal Justice Information Center for Excellence” under the supervision of the chief information officer in the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services. The information technology infrastructure would be used by 14 agencies, including the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Public Safety, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, the District Attorney’s Council, CLEET, the state attorney general, the ABLE Commission, the fire marshall and the Department of Corrections.

The chief information officer and commissioner of public safety would oversee the implementation of the law, if enacted.

Ownbey said some criminal justice agencies currently do not have adequate funding for information technology improvements. Instead of improving the information technology capability of 14 agencies, his legislation allows them to share a system, he said.

“An example of this is the Department of Corrections,” Ownbey said. “The agency has no ability to upgrade the management system, which would cost $15 million. Instead, I am proposing we provide a shared infrastructure that will benefit multiple agencies.

Ownbey also noted that multiple agencies collect duplicate information while a shared infrastructure would reduce duplication.

“The Criminal Justice Information Systems Center for Excellence would be the first of its kind,” Ownbey said. “As a collaborative effort among the Office of Management and Enterprise Services and the 14 public safety and defense agencies, the center offers a unique and creative approach to the mandatory statewide information technology consolidation.”

The legislation was approved unanimously, 7-0, by the House Government Oversight and Accountability Committee. It will now proceed to the House floor and become available for consideration

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