Here are Techwire's 10 Most-Clicked Stories of 2019

It was a year of change in California's gov tech sector. Here are the 10 stories that produced the most Web traffic over the past year.

The past 12 months have been pivotal in California’s gov tech IT sector, begininng with the inauguration of Gov. Gavin Newsom and the institution of a new procurement model, the Request for Innovative Ideas, or RFI2. Some departments got new secretaries or directors, including the beleaguered Department of Motor Vehicles.

Techwire chronicled the changes, and herewith are the 10 most-clicked stories from, with a short summary of each and a link to the original. 

1. Newsom Names New Secretary of State Transportation Agency (April 24). David S. Kim has deep roots in California, having served as an aide to California Secretary of State Xavier Becerra when Becerra served in the state assembly and then in the U.S. House. Brian Annis, who had been secretary of the state Transportation Agency, was named the chief financial officer for the state's high-speed rail agency.

2. Batjer Leaving GovOps, to Head CPUC Board (July 12). The veteran government leader, previously the secretary of the Government Operations Agency, wrapped up her assignments in July, including the DMV Strike Team, before assuming leadership of the state Public Utilities Commission.

3. Sumi Smith Out as Child Support Services CIO-CISO (April 18). Sumi Smith, who had held the roles of CIO and chief information security officer and was also a deputy director, left the department. A veteran of state government, Smith had held various roles in the California Public Employees Retirement System, the state Employment Development Department, and the California Department of Transportation. 

4. DGS Gives Nod to 17 Vendors for Enterprise Technology Contracts (March 19). The state Department of General Services' Procurement Division awarded to 17 contractors after evaluating their competitive responses to administrative requirements and cost factors. Bidders competed to be designated to sell in 19 different product "silos." Some contractors won in multiple silos.

5. CHHS Secretary Attributes Success to Data Sharing, Focus on Customers (Jan. 18). California's then-secretary of Health and Human Services, Michael Wilkening, wrote in a Techwire commentary: "Our work at CHHS is a proof of concept, designed to illustrate how government can be more transparent, responsive and client-centered. I would argue that this has been a successful proof of concept, but it also has presented lessons learned." Wilkening is now special adviser for innovation to Gov. Gavin Newsom. 

6. Newsom Revamps IT Procurement; Industry to Play Bigger Role (Jan. 9). The executive order stretched the role of the Department of General Services and the California Department of Technology to "develop a new iterative procurement approach called an Innovation Procurement Sprint."

7. Fong Renews Call for CIO Tong to Step Down (April 9). It was the second time in six months that the Bakersfield Republican targeted Amy Tong, director of the California Department of Technology. He also called for the resignation of now-retired DMV Director Jean Shiomoto. Tong remains state CIO and director of CDT. 

8. Senior CDT Executive to Retire, Be Succeeded by State Veteran (June 10). Scott Paterson, whose most recent role was deputy director of CDT's Office of Professional Development, retired in July and was succeeded by state veteran Brenda Bridges Cruz.

9. CISO Peter Liebert Leaving State Government (May 7). Under his watch, California became the first state in the nation to evaluate departments and agencies for their cybersecurity preparedness and to grade them on their “maturity metrics.”

10. Breaking: DMV Names New Chief, Sets Goal for Credit Card Payments (July 23). Gov. Gavin Newsom introduced DMV's new director and chief deputy director and said the agency would shortly begin piloting the ability to accept credit card payments. 

Dennis Noone is Managing Editor of Techwire. He is a career journalist, having worked as a reporter and editor at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies in California, Nevada, Texas and Virginia, including as an editor with USA Today in Washington, D.C. He lives in the Northern California foothills.