Agency History #305


The state agency responsible for coordinating all data processing functions for state departments was originally established administratively as a service bureau in the Department of Finance (Agency #00388) in 1965.


The Data Processing Center was to provide data processing services to all state departments at a central center designed to eliminate duplication of equipment and personnel. The Center was funded by user agencies.

Responsibility for the general supervision and control over all state government systems planning and computing services was given to the Department of Systems Planning and Computing. In addition to operating computer facilities, services included determining needs and recommending priorities, formulating and implementing computing programs, and advising the governor and the legislature on computing matters by preparing and submitting reports.

As technology improved, centralization was deemphasized and the functions of the agency became more advisory in nature. The Division of Data Processing was statutorily charged to administer the central state computer center and regional computer centers efficiently, coordinate the implementation of minimum standards for compatibility to facilitate the exchange of information within and among systems, and provide technical assistance and services in planning automated data processing systems. These functions were not affected by the merger with Telecommunications.

The Automated Geographic Reference system was transferred from the Office of Planning and Budget to the Data Processing Area in 1990. Legislative action formally created the Automated Geographic Center in 1991.


An assistant director appointed by the division director administers the Data Processing Area of the Division of Information Technology Services (Agency #01922).


Herbert F. Smart, Director of Finance, administratively established the State Data Processing Center on November 1, 1965, with the approval of Governor Calvin L. Rampton. A State Data Processing Council appointed by Smart had earlier recommended that various data processing units be consolidated into a single center. The initial step toward consolidation took place when, on June 1, 1965, the Department of Finance, State Insurance Fund, Welfare Department, and the State Tax Commission merged their data processing on a shared basis, using a single computer. The Center was organized into four major sections--central programming, central computer service, audit and central section, and central key punch.

Four years later, data processing was elevated to department status when the 38th Legislature created the Department of Systems Planning and Computing. The 41st Legislature amended the Systems Planning and Computing Act in 1975, shortening the agency's name in the process. The director of the Department of Systems Planning in 1979 recommended abolishing the department and transferring its service functions back to the Department of Finance or to a new Department of Administration. The 44th Legislature in 1981 statutorily placed the agency within the newly created Department of Administrative Services, designating it as the Division of Data Processing. Nine years after creating the Division of Data Processing the 48th Legislature in 1990 merged Data Processing with the Division of Telecommunications, creating a combined Division of Information Technology Services. Data Processing became one of three areas within the restructured division.


Data Processing Area, 1990-present

Division of Data Processing, 1981-1990

Department of Systems Planning, 1975-1981

Department of Systems Planning and Computing, 1969-1975

Data Processing Center, 1965-1969


Brent R. Sanderson, 1990-present

David L. Johnson, 1985-1990

L. Richard Raybould, 1981-1984

Bruce Smith, 1977-1980

John L. Gunter, 1973-1977

R. LaMar Thayne, 1971-1973

Edward C. Zajac, 1969-1971

James Dixon, manager, 1965-1967

COMPILED BY: W. Glen Fairclough, Jr., June 1992


Administrative Reports, Compiled Digest of, for Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1965, p. 63.

Administrative Reports, Compiled Digest of, for Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1966, pp. 72-74.

Annual Budget, 1969-70, pp. 139-40.

Annual Budget, July 1, 1970, to June 30, 1971, p. 179.

Annual Budget, July 1, 1973, to June 30, 1974, pp. 238-39.

Annual Budget, July 1, 1974, to June 30, 1975, pp. 230-32.

Annual Budget, 1978-79, p. C-75.

Annual Budget, 1979-80, (Utah State Budget Office), pp. 80-81.

Annual Report (DAS), First, July 1, 1981 through June 30, 1982, pp. 3, 10.

Annual Report (DAS), July 1, 1982 through June 30, 1983, p. 5.

Annual Reports (Department of Systems Planning), 1970, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1975-76, 1977-78.

Biennium Budget, 1967-69, p. 139.

DAS Service Plans for FY 1982-83, pp. 28-36.

Data Processing organization charts, 1985, 1986, 1991.

Laws of Utah, 1969, Chapter 13 (First Special Session), pp. 1246-66 [series no. 83155].

Laws of Utah, 1975, Chapter 191, pp. 856-65 [series no. 83155].

Laws of Utah, 1981, Chapter 257, pp. 1246-66 [series no. 83155].

Laws of Utah, 1986, Chapter 102, pp. 248-49 [series no. 83155].

Laws of Utah, 1990, Chapter 57, pp. 210-212 [series no. 83155].

Laws of Utah, 1991, Chapter 56, pp. 150-151 [series no. 83155].

State and Local Government in Utah (Salt Lake City: Utah Foundation, 1973), p. 84; (1979), p. 86.

State Organizational Charts (Salt Lake City: Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, State of Utah, March 1989).

Utah Code, 63-1-5; 63-1-51 to 56 [series no. 83238, annotated; series no. 01052, unannotated].

Utah Official Roster, (DAS/USARS); 1981-82, 1983-84, and 1985-86 editions [series no. 01150].

Page Last Updated July 2, 2003.