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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The state’s IT department is outsourcing jobs to a company owned in the Far East.

“The bottom line is we are looking at efficiencies, improving efficiencies for state employees,” said Jake Lowrey of the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services.

According to Senate Bill 583, the state’s IT department has to be more efficient. The law that took effect in November requires OMES to look for better ways to do the job of maintaining desktop computers for state agencies. OMES says they put out bids and have hired NTT Data to manage.

“People that bring your computer out, set it up, get it running for you,” said Lowrey.

Last Friday, an email went out to OMES employees, saying the transition to NTT Data would be complete per the legislation by July 2020.

Reportedly 105 jobs will be affected. Forty-seven current OMES employees will be hired by NTT Data as written in the contract.  As for the remaining 58…

“Every effort will be made to place those employees within OMES or other state agencies. This is not by any stretch of the imagination a massive layoff we are just looking at efficiencies as required by the legislation,” Lowrey said.

We wanted to know if this outsourcing was part of the governor’s plan to make state government more efficient.

“No, whatever efficiencies they have planned is separate from this,” Lowery said.

The contracted five years is worth $8.7 million in the first year-and-a-half alone. NTT Data has clients all over the world. They have U.S. offices in Plano, Texas, and operate it for state agencies across the country. But they are owned by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone based in Japan and partially owned by the Japanese government.

“They have companies here in the United States as part of their outfit. We are not actually contracting with Japan,” Lowery said.