State lines

Server switch. Columbus, Ohio, is saving about $80,000 a month on maintenance now that it has replaced its legacy mainframe with a Unisys ClearPath Plus CS7101 server.

City officials chose the year-old server, which runs both Unisys' MCP and Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, because it could run existing payroll and police programs and also put many legacy applications on the Web, said Jesse R. Jones, director of Columbus' Technology Department. The payroll department can process checks 25 percent faster on the ClearPath mainframe, he said.

Each week, the former Unisys V530 mainframe had to produce $1.2 million worth of payroll checks for 8,000 employees. It accessed the city's Oracle Corp. databases thousands of times each day, and the maintenance costs were simply too high, Jones said.

Collections boost. The Texas Comptroller's Enforcement Division saw a huge boost in delinquent tax collection this summer when it started using wireless technology and software that automated many of its activities.

Using enforcement wireless computing software from Adea Solutions Inc. of Dallas, collectors in the field can remotely access taxpayer information and collection activity details, and print tax information using a wireless tablet computer and bubble-jet printer. As a result, field staff have increased their field time and productivity, bolstering taxpayer service and compliance with tax obligations since they started using the technology in April. The division collected $4.7 million more in tax revenue in May and June than during the same period a year ago, officials said.

The Comptroller's Office is developing more wireless processes for the Enforcement Division, such as automating travel vouchers and tracking mileage, and remotely printing receipts and processing payment information to the State Treasury and Comptroller mainframes.

Service deal. The Arizona Supreme Court and Arizona Administrative Office of the Courts have awarded Affiliated Computer Services Inc. a five-year contract to provide compliance and collections services.

Under the contract, the Dallas company will provide compliance and collections services for the state's 178 general-jurisdiction, limited-jurisdiction and municipal courts.

The company also will administer the state's newly established Fines, Fees and Restitution Enforcement program (FARE) which seeks to enforce compliance with fines and improve services to constituents through convenient payment options.

The overall goal of the FARE program is to enhance court services for Arizona residents and visitors, while increasing revenue for Arizona government agencies, the company said. The program also is expected to provide greater consistency across court-ordered penalties and improve court operations.

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