Arkansas Division of Information Systems (DIS)

The former Arkansas Department of Information Systems (ADIS) provided information technology solutions for the state government of Arkansas, maintaining the government’s telecommunication services and ensures connectivity and security among the various state agencies. The Transformation and Efficiencies Act of 2019 (Act 910) merged the Office of Transformation with the former ADIS to create the Department of Transformation and Shared Services as a cabinet-level department in state government, which includes the Division of Information Systems (DIS).

The forerunner of ADIS was the Arkansas Department of Computer Services (ADCS), created by Act 884 of 1977, which abolished the Administrative Services Division of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration and transferred its duties and responsibilities to the newly created ADCS. The act mandated that ADCS “establish and operate a central data processing system, consisting of such equipment, services, and programs as are necessary therefore, to meet the data processing needs of the respective state agencies.” ADCS was also required to operate a central telephone service for state agencies, to provide technical assistance to state agencies, and to coordinate the usage of computer and telecommunication equipment among the agencies. In addition, the act required that state agencies get the approval of the new department before purchasing data-processing equipment.

Act 914 of 1997 reestablished ADCS as ADIS, which was raised to a cabinet-level department. The legislature put forward six specific goals for the new department: 1) plan and manage information technology infrastructures, 2) increase other state agencies’ awareness of opportunities to share information, 3) provide information technology services, 4) increase opportunities to exchange and share information, 5) develop state standards for information technology, and 6) develop a state information technology plan. The same act also reorganized the State Planning Division into the Office of Information Technology (OIT). ADIS expanded its office space in 1997, then in the Union Building in Little Rock (Pulaski County), to devote an entire floor to addressing the potential Y2K problem. Four years later, Act 1042 of 2001 created the position of Executive Chief Information Officer (CIO) responsible for “the formulation and promulgation of policies, standards, specifications, and guidelines for information technology in the state.” The CIO Council was also established to advise the executive “on information technology resource usage and prioritization,” and the OIT was folded into this new structure. Act 751 of 2007, however, dissolved the Executive CIO office, assigning those duties to the director of ADIS, and divided the operations of the OIT among other agencies; this act also moved the Arkansas Geographic Information Office under the aegis of ADIS.

ADIS was one of the prime movers in making government services more available to citizens via computers, as with online tax filing and drivers’ license renewal, as well as the Arkansas Public School Computer Network, which is maintained by the Arkansas Department of Education. DIS maintains a catalogue of its products and services on its website; these include application hosting, connectivity, professional services, and telephone services. The website also includes the full text of state legislation relating to information technology from 1967 to the present. DIS maintains a call center that is staffed twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, for various state agencies, commissions, and boards.

For additional information:
Arkansas Division of Information Systems. (accessed April 20, 2022).

Simmons, Bill. “State Ready to Beat Bug, Officials Say.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, December 21, 1999, pp. 1A, 11A.

Staff of the CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas


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