THE 50 STATES

THE 50 STATES<@VM>THE 50 STATES (Missouri - Wyoming)

What's up in your agency?

For governments east of the Mississippi, call 301-650-2225 or e-mail wdizard@gcn.com. For those west, call 301-650-2238 or e-mail twalsh@gcn.com.

ALABAMA

REFERENCE REPOSITORY. Gov. Don Siegelman has earmarked $3 million for fiscal 2000 to maintain the state's Virtual Library, launched late last year. Libraries and public schools use the Virtual Library to access hundreds of periodicals, newspapers, newswires and government documents over the Web at no cost.


The Oklahoma Highway Patrol uses IBM FormRunner software, which the
St. Louis Police Department also
has implemented.


Users type in passwords for access to one of seven major research databases. Visit the library site at www.avl.lib.al.us.

ALASKA

NEW LOOK. Gov. Tony Knowles' Web site recently got a makeover. A pull-down menu in a header decorated with photos of Knowles and Alaska's scenery replaced the old site's sidebar format. The page is more compact, with a three-column layout that reduces the need to scroll through long pages.

The site, at www.gov.state.ak.us, runs off a Netscape Enterprise Server for NetWare Version 3. Webmaster Nicole Sanderlin created the site in Adobe PageMill and said the response to it has been 'very positive. People seem to like the new look and find it easier to navigate.'

ARIZONA

LANDSLIDE WIN. Democrats turned out in e-droves for the state's first binding Internet primary. According to Election.com Inc. executives, during the Presidential Preference Primary, 39,942 Arizonans cast votes online, nearly half of the 86,907 total.

Officials at Election.com of Garden City, N.Y., are quick to credit the Internet for the hefty voter turnout. But the special primary had another notable difference: Voting was not limited to one Tuesday. Voters could cast their ballots online from March 7 to March 11. State election officials had no involvement in the primary, other than to provide some voter registration information.

ARKANSAS

MEANS BUSINESS. Gov. Mike Huckabee announced plans to create an information system to handle payroll, accounting, financial management, budget preparation, human resources, purchasing, asset management and inventory control.

SAP America Inc. of Newtown Square, Pa., won a contract valued at $30 million to design and maintain the system. It will replace several 20-year-old legacy systems that were expensive to maintain and required duplicate data entry.

Huckabee said the system will be running by July 1, 2001. 'Politicians often talk about running government more like a business,' Huckabee said. 'Today, we are actually taking a step in that direction.'

CALIFORNIA

RED TAPE RELIEF. Riverside County recently partnered with ezgov.com of Atlanta, an online government services provider. Now the county's 700,000 property owners can pay property taxes online. To commemorate the streamlined service, officials swaddled the largest county services building in red tape, then sliced through the tape with giant scissors at a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Property owners can search for tax information by street address or parcel number at either www.ezgov.com or www.countytreasurer.org, where they can create a secure account by means of an electronic check. Ezgov.com e-mails the taxpayer a confirmation of payment.

The site runs on a SunSoft Solaris Web server and uses 128-bit encryption. Data is encrypted en route and in the database.

COLORADO

EYE IN THE SKY. The Corrections Department recently conducted a pilot to test a Global Positioning System device that tracks parolees considered at high risk of committing further offenses.

The devices are embedded in anklets the offenders wear. They notify parole officers if parolees enter designated out-of-bounds areas such as schools, parks and day-care centers.

Colorado officials would not comment on what kind of GPS devices they used in the test. They recently decided to expand the program and issued a request for proposals for a GPS to track up to 1,100 high-risk parolees.

CONNECTICUT

FREE ADVERTISING. Connecticut driver's licenses now sport another address'the state Motor Vehicles Department's Web address, dmvct.org.

The department wants to boost awareness of the site, which provides details about policies, laws and regulations. The site does not handle online transactions such as tag renewals.

The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators has no record of another state that includes its Web address on licenses. Pennsylvania and Alaska, however, have stamped theirs on license plates, and Oklahoma plans to follow suit.

DELAWARE

ECO INFO. Gov. Thomas R. Carper has directed the state Natural Resources and Environmental Control Department to post information about environmental violations on its Web site, at www.dnrec.state.de.us.

'We want Delawareans to have services and the latest information at their fingertips,' he said.

People without Internet access can contact the department for violation information.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

FOR YOUR INFORMATION. The District recently revamped its Web site, at www.washingtondc.gov.

The site was woefully out-of-date when Mayor Anthony Williams took office in late 1998. Williams launched an interim site with information and links shortly afterward, but the new site has expanded services, including online vehicle registration and e-mail service requests.

The mayor plans to expand the site and is requiring agencies to integrate their sites and keep them current.

FLORIDA

PRINTING IT OUT. The Hillsborough County Survey and Mapping Division relies on Hewlett-Packard Co. DesignJet 1055s for the vector maps and aerial photographs it prints.

'We're getting people from other departments coming here to plot their things on the DesignJet because it's so much better than what they have,' county surveyor Bob Weston said.

The print quality and speed are a step up from the division's previous printers, Right of Way/Mapping Section manager Leslie Pierce said.

GEORGIA

DIGITAL BRIDGE. The city of LaGrange is providing free Internet access to households with cable television in an effort to bridge the so-called digital divide.

The city has teamed with Charter Communications Inc. of St. Louis to build a hybrid fiber-coaxial cable network that will let cable subscribers access the Internet through their televisions at no extra cost.

The city-funded program will use the Every TV service from WorldGate Communications of Trevose, Pa.

HAWAII

HONOR ROLL. Honolulu recently received plaudits for improving IT.

The city government received a B+ in information technology from the Government Performance Project, a program administered by the Alan K. Campbell Institute of Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. That grade was up from an F received last year.

IDAHO

BOOSTER SHOT. Idaho wants to boost its rate of childhood immunization from 70 percent to 90 percent. The Health Department recently awarded a two-year contract valued at $1.7 million to Scientific Technologies Corp. The Tucson, Ariz., company will build the state an immunization registry system. The registry data will reside in an Oracle8i database on an IBM Netfinity server running Microsoft Windows NT.

ILLINOIS

ON THE TICKET. The State Board of Elections has awarded a $2 million software contract to Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego. SAIC will develop standards for the state's Automated Voter Registration System.

The contract requires SAIC to evaluate different voter registration data formats used by local jurisdictions and develop a uniform statewide format.

INDIANA

WEB SCHOOL. The Indiana Web Academy pilot program aims to empower students, faculty and educational staff in Indiana to use the Internet from school and home, director Ken Scales said.

RSM McGladrey Inc. of Davenport, Iowa, helped develop the academy, at web-academy.org. The program teaches Web site construction and gives families Internet access for $5 per month.

The academy plans to partner with vendors to supply Internet access, low-cost computer purchases and other services by early next year.

IOWA

KEEPING TABS. The Corrections Department in July will begin using the newly installed Iowa Corrections Offender Network to manage community corrections data.

The state's fiber-optic network will give 4,200 users, including parole officers and clerks, access to the statewide system to keep track of convicts on parole, probation, home monitoring and work release.

The Web application stows released convicts' records in a Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 database and runs under Microsoft Windows 2000 on two 450-MHz Compaq 1600 servers with 512M of RAM each and two 450-MHz Compaq 6500 servers with 1G of RAM each.

KANSAS

THE NEW WEST. Law enforcement in Dodge City has come a long way since the days of Wyatt Earp. The Police Department has a LAN running Microsoft Windows NT and an assortment of IBM Pentium PCs. Officers aren't yet equipped with notebook PCs, but they will be in a few years when the budget can handle it, officials said.

KENTUCKY

DIGITAL PATROL. State Police officers will communicate over a $22.8 million Astro 25 digital two-way radio system from Motorola Inc. that replaces a 1970s analog system.

The system will have 208 Astro Quantar base stations, 1,250 Astro Spectra mobile radios, 857 Astro Vehicular Repeater System units and 50 Astro XTS 3000 ruggedized digital portable radios.

The system will run on 12.5-KHz radio channels, which are narrower than commonly used 25-KHz channels and thus create more channels for emergency use, Motorola officials said.

LOUISIANA

WINNING WAYS. The Louisiana Lottery Management System isn't fancy, but it works'the Louisiana State Lottery paid out more than $10 million in January alone.

Written in Cobol, LMS handles instant ticket validations, inventory and prize payments. The system runs on an R-310 minicomputer from Stratus Computers of Maynard, Mass.

Brian Darouse, vice president of the lottery's Management Information Systems Division, said he is hoping to get budget approval to go forward with a new system.

MAINE

SOS GIS. The Maine Emergency Management Agency's geographic information system helps the public and emergency management workers locate and map resources such as armories, fire and police stations, hospitals, schools and local emergency management agencies. It is on the Web at janus.state.me.us/homepage.asp.

The system has a Microsoft Access database and runs ArcView and ArcView Internet Map Server from Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif. WebTrends software from WebTrends Corp. of Portland, Ore., tracks site traffic.

MARYLAND

SYSTEM FAILURE. Montgomery County shut down the $4 million Student Information System, which has been plagued by problems since its release last fall [GCN/State & Local, April, Page 38].

The county will return to its 25-year-old former administrative system while SIS developers from Marconi Systems Technologies Inc. of Rockville, Md.'which since has merged with BAE Systems North America'and Administrative Assistants Ltd. of Burlington, Ontario, repair the new system.

MASSACHUSETTS

SQUARE FOOTAGE. The Capital Asset Management Division is building a facilities management system to monitor the state's inventory of about 5,000 buildings in 500 locations across the commonwealth.

The system will run Famis software from Prism Computer Corp. of Irvine, Calif. It will hold capital project and maintenance data for the state's 73 million square feet of space, which Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc. of New York will initially survey.

Site managers will be able to access and enter facility data continually.

MICHIGAN

GRIDLOCK BUSTERS. The Road Commission for Oakland County wants to reduce traffic jams and boost safety by adding 28 Autoscope vehicle detection systems from Image Sensing Systems of St. Paul, Minn., to its Fast-Trac traffic management system.

The systems will augment Fast-Trac and use pole-mounted video cameras connected to vehicle detection stations. The stations, which have Pentium III chips, run custom software that can analyze the presence, direction and speed of cars and trucks.

The Autoscope systems relay data to the commission's central Fast-Trac facility.

MINNESOTA

SIGNATURE FEES. The Secretary of State's Office plans to charge companies seeking to become digital signature certification authorities in the state.

Companies would pay $500 annually for the privilege and an additional $500 to be recognized as digital signature repositories.

The state will act as digital certification authority for Minnesota agencies and will charge them $300 to become digital signature subscribers. Sending a digitally signed document will cost a state agency about 25 cents per document.

The Secretary of State's Office and the Finance Department have run a successful digital signature pilot. Minnesota's 10 cabinet-level agencies all have sought to become subscribers.

MISSISSIPPI

FIRE FIGHT. The Mississippi Forestry Commission in July will receive electronic mapping technology to help track and fight wildfires.

Geographers at the Mississippi Automated Resource Information System Technical Center are building the forest fire database. It will process mapping data using ArcInfo from Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif.

The database will run under Microsoft Windows 98 on a 450-MHz Sun Microsystems Ultra Enterprise server with 256M of RAM.MISSOURI

PERMIT ME. The Conservation Department has requested proposals for operation of its automated point-of-sale hunting and fishing permit system.


Washington's DOT has posted its road and weather information at test.wsdot.wa.gov/rwis.


Automated License Systems Inc. currently runs the system. But the Nashville, Tenn., company's five-year contract expires Feb. 28.

The license system, which stores records in an IBM DB2 database, runs under OS/390 on an IBM 2003 mainframe. The system supports 1,400 permit vendors statewide. Last year they collected $28.5 million in permit revenue.

MONTANA

TROUT TALK. The Montana Rivers Information System's Fisheries Component recently went online at nris.state.mt.us/wis/mris1.html. Visitors can enter the name of the fish they're looking for'channel catfish, for instance'and within seconds the site delivers a list of 46 Montana streams and rivers where anglers can find the species.

The site is written in a combination of Visual Basic and Microsoft Active Server Pages. Visitors also can map streams and rivers online with MapObjects and MapServer from Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif. The data is stored in Microsoft SQL Server databases.

NEBRASKA

SAFE AND WIRELESS. Federal Engineering Inc. recently won a contract valued at $600,000 from the state's Administrative Services Department.

The Fairfax, Va., company will provide the department's Communications Division with a report on the functional requirements for a statewide wireless communications system. Division officials said the network will be used for all public safety services: fire, police, emergency, and roads and construction. The report is due by November.

NEVADA

LOOK IT UP. The Education Department and the State Library have awarded a $200,000, two-year contract to Ebsco Publishing Inc. of Ipswich, Mass., to provide six online reference databases for students, teachers and other library users in the state.

Users will access the databases via browsers. The databases contain the contents of thousands of full-text journals, magazines, newspapers, reference books, pamphlets, maps, encyclopedias and images.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

LINE OF ATTACK. The newly formed Information Strategic Planning Commission will by September develop a plan for using information technology to improve state government services.

State, local and industry officials comprise the group, created through an executive order by Gov. Jeanne Shaheen. They are charged with studying the ways citizens access state information and services, state IT systems connections and who they serve, IT staffing and training issues, technology investment value, privacy policies and procedures, and best IT practices of other organizations.

NEW JERSEY

COLLEAGUE FINDER. Through NJDirect, state employees can look up one another's names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses and mailing addresses over the state government intranet.

The Office of Information Technology chose Netscape Directory Server 4.0 as the directory's Lightweight Directory Access Protocol data engine. Employees change their own information within the directory so administrators don't have to.

NEW MEXICO

JUVENILE DELINQUENT. Gov. Gary E. Johnson's Web site, at www.governor.state.nm.us, was recently hacked into twice in one week. A group calling itself the Delinquent Hacking Corp., led by a hacker with the online moniker Nemesystm, claimed responsibility for the first attack and said it was done to show that the site was not secure.

Later that week, Nemesystm hacked into the site to protest the governor's views on legalizing drugs. Diane Kinderwater, the governor's press secretary, said the second attack also contained inappropriate remarks about violence against students. FBI officials have not found the perpetrator.

NEW YORK


HUMAN KNOWLEDGE. The state Human Services Application Service Center, which provides IT support to four major social services and labor agencies, has deployed an analysis and reporting system from Cognos Inc. of Ottawa.

State employees access the system via an intranet. The system lets them cross-reference and analyze a variety of human services data. A user could, say, call up welfare data for a particular region, drill down through the data, run reports online and distribute the data via e-mail.

NORTH CAROLINA

BETTER BUYING. The state Office of Information Technology Services has gained more authority over IT procurement for all state agencies. The state revamped IT buying procedures and centralized oversight this year to reduce the total cost of ownership of its IT assets.

ITS now reviews agency requests for proposals for IT goods and services.

NORTH DAKOTA

JOB SEARCH. Job Service North Dakota has unveiled Web site improvements designed to help residents find employment.

The site, at www.jobsnd.com, has improved navigation features, upgraded graphics and added a link to nationwide job listings, state officials said.

The site lists about 3,000 jobs in the state. More than 13,000 people have registered online, and about 3,200 have posted r'sum's. Users can post job openings, prepare r'sum's, complete job applications, research training opportunities and review work force statistics.

OHIO

LOCKDOWN. A new state law forbids prisoners in state, county and municipal correctional facilities to access the Internet, except for educational purposes.

The law requires the state director of rehabilitation and correction to draw up rules governing access for approved educational programs.

The restriction is intended to prevent prisoners from misusing the Internet, said a spokesman for state Sen. Larry Mumper, one of the law's several sponsors.

OKLAHOMA

HIGHWAY HELPERS. The Public Safety Department recently decided to install IBM's FormRunner software on Highway Patrol troopers' IBM ThinkPad PCs. FormRunner runs on a Lotus Notes and Domino platform.

Troopers record information about collisions into the software, then upload the records into the state's collision database.

FormRunner includes a feature that lets troopers include drawings of an accident scene.

OREGON

EBAY BONDS. Treasury officials are using the Parity online bidding system from First Call, a subsidiary of Thomson Financial Group of Boston, to sell state bonds online.

Representatives from investment firms such as Goldman Sachs of New York are the main bidders, 'the big boys,' said Larry Groth, Oregon's assistant director for debt management. But recently several smaller firms have bid on the state's bonds. Groth said he hopes the Internet auction will attract more and smaller bidders. 'The more people bidding, the lower the price,' he said.

Treasury officials send bond disclosure information to First Call offices in Adobe Acrobat 4.0 format. First Call officials download the Portable Document Format files into the Parity system and assign bidders a password.

PENNSYLVANIA

THE NEXT LEVEL. The Office of Administration has signed a $228 million contract with a 16-company consortium to build a wide-ranging public telecommunications network. The commonwealth expects to boost electronic commerce and save at least $100 million over five years, the contract's term.

The contract will bring voice, data, video and Internet services to the three branches of state government'all at lower rates than they would or do currently pay for those services, Administration Secretary Thomas G. Paese said.

Consortium leader Adelphia Business Solutions of Coudersport, Pa., will run the contract, which is also open to local governments.

RHODE ISLAND

LIBRARY LINKS. The state's Cooperating Libraries Automated Network (CLAN) will receive Internet access services from Digital Broadband Communications Inc. of Waltham, Mass.

By next month, managers at the 48 CLAN locations will be able to choose Internet access speeds ranging from 56 Kbps to 1.5 Mbps. The majority will link up via digital subscriber lines. Those without access to DSL will connect through frame relay, T1 or Integrated Services Digital Network links.

SOUTH CAROLINA

LAND HO! The Dorchester County Register of Mesne Conveyances is processing county land records with an enterprise imaging system from Eastman Software Inc. of Billerica, Mass.

The system digitizes land records and will soon expand to make records and images available on the Internet. DalTech International Inc. of Dallas worked with Eastman Software to integrate the system.

SOUTH DAKOTA

ONLINE WELLNESS. South Dakota's Personnel Bureau has established an interactive Web site for members of the state's Self-Insured Health Plan.

State employees who click on www.onlinehealthed.com can access general health information and ask specific questions.

The site generates confidential e-mail replies to questions. It also presents articles on cholesterol, mammograms and other health topics. Health Care Medical Solutions II Inc. of Sioux Falls maintains the site.

TENNESSEE

DUELING SITES. The Tennessee Technology Development Corp., a partnership between the Economic and Community Development Department and state companies, has launched a Web site creation competition for high school and community college students.

Students will build sites describing how local governments can use the Web efficiently or how businesses benefit from technology.

Contest participants will divide $93,000 in prize money. Half the money will go to the teams creating the Web sites and half to their schools. The winners will be announced May 19.

TEXAS

ONEWORLD WONDER. Four cities'Amarillo, Denton, Plano and Lubbock'recently decided to use OneWorld software from J.D. Edwards and Co. of Denver for e-government applications.

The cities had been searching for a way to streamline and unify many separate silos of information to keep pace with rapid growth. In 1998, Plano's population increased by 23.1 percent. Officials in both Plano and Lubbock run OneWorld on an IBM AS/400 server and access financial, logistics and manufacturing information stored in an IBM DB2 database.

Amarillo city officials use OneWorld to access city information from a DB2 database over a RISC platform. Denton officials run OneWorld on an IBM RS/6000 platform and store city information in an Oracle8i database.

UTAH

SAY CHEESE. The Public Safety Department's Driver License Division this summer will begin deploying 45 Polaroid Corp. image capture systems at its 25 field offices across the state.

The systems will, for the first time, give Nevada officials speedy access to digital images of individuals holding driver's licenses and learner permits.

The systems capture digital images using video cameras from Sony Corp. of America of Park Ridge, N.J. The systems process the images on PCs using a Sony application written in C++ that runs under Microsoft Windows NT. The PCs then transmit the images over the state's secure WAN for storage on a Hewlett-Packard K570 image server running HP-UX.

VERMONT

SPIRITED BANKING. The Liquor Control Department is developing a system to automatically withdraw sales revenue from the bank accounts of the 75 state stores that sell liquor.

Custom department programs already pull sales and inventory data nightly from each store via dial-up modems. The data resides in an Informix-SE database and is used for a variety of accounting and management functions.

The new program will use that data to calculate daily sales and transfer the funds weekly from store accounts into a central state account, IT manager Frank Perrone said.

VIRGINIA

IN SYNC. The Fairfax County Human Services Department has purchased a $1.96 million human services system from Harmony Information Systems Inc. of Alexandria.

The client-server system with an Oracle Corp. database will replace the 28-year-old Virginia Uniform Welfare Reporting System. It will simplify billing and reporting, improve agency data sharing and let vendors submit invoices and check payment status electronically.

WASHINGTON

ROADS SCHOLAR. The Transportation Department last month made available to the public a beta version of its Road and Weather Information System. Citizens can access the site at test.wsdot.wa.gov/rwis and zoom in on a map to reveal detailed road and weather conditions.

DOT officials store road and weather information in Microsoft SQL Server databases. DOT specialists create the map's zoom features in ArcInfo 7.2.1 from Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif., and generate Web images in ArcView 3.1. The site uses a melange of languages and platforms, including C++, Microsoft Visual Basic, ColdFusion from Allaire Corp. of Cambridge, Mass., and Adobe Photoshop.

WEST VIRGINIA

DISTANCE ED. The Legislature has granted 12 schools in eight counties $67,000 in distance learning grants. The grants will pay for equipment and courses that are not otherwise available to many of the participants.

The state plans to provide advanced placement courses under the grants and is considering staff development sessions, acting superintendent of schools David Stewart said.

WISCONSIN

CONSULTANT PROBE. The Legislative Audit Bureau, a nonpartisan service agency of the legislature, has launched an audit of the state's computer consulting contracts.

An anonymous letter to Rep. Steven Foti, majority leader of the state Assembly, prompted the probe. The letter, signed 'Concerned employees of the state of Wisconsin,' complained of excessive fees paid to two state computer consultants.

Legislative auditors will examine expenditures for computer consulting services, the number and types of service vendors, and the hourly rates paid under state agency contracts.

WYOMING

HIGHER REGISTER. The Health Department is preparing to roll out its Immunization Registry next month, said Phil Caves, immunization program manager for the Health Department.

Seventy-nine percent of Wyoming children have complete immunizations by their second birthdays. The goal is to have 90 percent immunized by age 2, Caves said. Science Technologies Corp. of Tucson, Ariz., will set up the automated registry under a contract valued at $250,000.

The client-server system will access an Oracle8 database. Doctors and other health care workers will be able to find a child's immunization history by entering a password at a designated Web address.

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