New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Ryan Johnston

StateScoop NYC lawmakers propose new agency to boost digital services by Ryan Johnston

NYC lawmakers propose new agency to boost digital services

Two members of the New York City Council on Wednesday introduced a bill that would create a “moonshot” division to aid city agencies in modernizing their digital services. The “Office of Technology and Digital Services” would hire technologists who would embed themselves in other city departments needing help with their digital projects.

The idea, said Councilmember Ben Kallos, who sponsored the bill with Robert Holden, is to free up time for the city’s chief technology officer, John Paul Farmer, to tackle projects that address issues like hunger and poverty.

Employees of the Office of Technology and Digital Services would be dispatched to agencies that request their services, and would primarily develop new software tools for the city, ideally at faster rates than what private-sector vendors offer, according to Kallos. The goal, he added, would be to have a “tech officer” embedded in every New York City agency by 2025.