THE 50 STATES<@VM>THE 50 STATES: Maine to Wyoming

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For governments east of the Mississippi, call 301-650-2225 or e-mail [email protected] For those west, call 301-650-2238 or e-mail [email protected].


KEEP AT IT. The Division of Purchasing has extended the contract it has with General Electric Co. for microcomputer software through next month. GE has been supplying software to Alabama since April 1997.

The contract covers software published by Microsoft Corp., Corel Corp., IBM Corp., Lotus Development Corp. and other companies. The state has options to extend the contract for an additional two years.


THE PROFILER. The Community and Economic Development Department's community profiles Web site gets 500 to 1,000 visitors each day, said Michael Cushing, a research analyst with the department. By clicking on the site, at, visitors can find maps, history, culture, schools, recent Census Department statistics, and photos of every city and village in Alaska.

The data, which the department has been compiling for more than 20 years, is stored in an Oracle7 database. Working with research analyst Laura Walters, Cushing built the site using ColdFusion from Allaire Corp. of Cambridge, Mass.


MAP HAPPY. Sedona, incorporated in 1988 as a mecca for artists and spiritual seekers, has one of the most comprehensive geographic information systems in the Verde Valley, said Aaron Seifert, a GIS analyst with the city.

City staff can view, query, pan and zoom the GIS on desktop PCs using ArcExplorer from Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif.

Arkansas' Game and Fish Commission recently debuted its electronic licensing Web site at


HE GOT GAME. Gov. Mike Huckabee was the first sportsman to buy a fishing license online from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Visitors to the AGFC license Web site, at, can try an online demonstration, make payments, or buy hunting and fishing licenses using credit cards over a browser equipped with Secure Sockets Layer protocol.


HATE TRACKING. The Attorney General's Office is developing the nation's first hate crime computer database, called Hate Crime Analysis Tracking and Evaluation.

The office will test the system, called HATE, in Los Angeles and Sacramento this month. After testing, officials will release it statewide to law enforcement officials in January, said Sandra Michioku, spokeswoman for the Attorney General's Office.

Only select law enforcement officials will have rights to the information, Michioku said. HATE will run on an intranet that law enforcement officials will access via Microsoft Explorer or Netscape browsers.


BACK TO THE FUTURE. It's back to the drawing board for Revenue Department officials.

In 1994, the department began a project to modernize the state's 35-year-old income tax administration system. One of the purported goals of the new system was to be ready for the year 2000 date change. By late 1998, Revenue officials realized the new system wouldn't be ready in time, so they overhauled the old mainframe's Cobol and assembly code'successfully, department officials said.

Now officials are back at Square 1, writing a new feasibility and requirements study.

The fanciful Colonial Robin serves as a kids guide through Connecticut's new Web site for children, introducing historical, educational and recreational features of the site.


NO KIDDING. ConneCT Kids, at, is the state's new Web site for children. It offers information on Connecticut's history and state government, educational fun and art exhibits. The site invites kids to correspond with featured artists, and to post personal stories about their own cultural backgrounds and how their families came to the state. The Connecticut Management Advisory Committee, a group with members from all three branches of the state government, developed the site.


CRIME PAYMENT. Gov. Thomas Carper included $230,500 in the fiscal 2001 budget request to allow for the transition of the Drug Court Information System to state funding. Since its inception in 1997, DCIS had been funded by a $440,477 grant from the U.S. Justice Department. The database helps officials in the Superior Court, Corrections, and Health and Human Services departments manage substance abuse treatment programs. The system uses three Dell PowerEdge 4300 Pentium II servers, each with two 350-MHz processors, 512M of RAM and RAID storage technology. They run Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, SQL Server 6.5, Microsoft Internet Information Server, Microsoft Transaction Server, and a browser application written in Visual Basic and Visual InterDev.


FASTER FIXES. The Office of the Chief Technology Officer has pledged to restore 80 percent of the outages in the city's WAN within two days in fiscal 2001, up from 75 percent in 2000. The office also has pledged to raise the percentage of WAN outages identified within 20 minutes from 85 percent in fiscal 2000 to 95 percent in 2001.

The 2001 plan also calls for the office to expand the WAN's reach to additional city agencies.


LAYERED LOOK. The Environmental Protection Department has been collecting data for its 257-layer geographic information system since 1989, said Rene Arbogast, systems project analyst for the department's Water Resource Management Division.

The GIS uses ArcInfo from Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif., on Microsoft Windows NT, Arbogast said. The data library is stored in an Oracle7 database and uses ESRI's Spatial Database Engine software.


NEW FACE. Gov. Roy Barnes has recommended Larry J. Singer to be the first executive director of the Georgia Technology Authority and the state's chief information officer. He is president of Public Interest Breakthroughs Inc., a not-for-profit group organized to help states assist disadvantaged individuals in using information technology. The board of the Georgia Technology Authority will vote on Singer's appointment.


FRESH FISH. The Land and Natural Resources Department's Aquatic Resources Division was the first state organization to offer online licenses. The division put its freshwater game fishing license online at

The division worked with a contractor, of Honolulu, to create the application. The site accepts credit cards protected by Secure Sockets Layer protocol, and users can print official licenses on their own printers.


LOTTO'S NEW LIFE. The Lottery Commission spent the past 18 months converting its inventory control, accounting and ticket tracking system that ran on an IBM AS/400 minicomputer with an Oracle Corp. database, said Becky Schroeder, director of information systems for the commission.

Andersen Consulting of Chicago created the old custom system, Schroeder said. The new system, which is written in Unix and runs under SunSoft Solaris, will be up and running in two more months, she said.


COMPUTER CLASH. The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Aurelia Pucinski had no right to purchase a $500,000 mainframe computer without approval from the Cook County Board. The board had said that Pucinski's office could update its equipment as part of the installation of a new county mainframe.

A spokesman for the clerk said Pucinski repeatedly had tried, without success, to get the board to place her approval request on its agenda. Pucinski plans to file a petition for rehearing of the decision with the Illinois Supreme Court. Pucinski's office purchased an IBM System/390 computer and associated items including console displays and OS/390 software from Real Applications Ltd. of Woodland Hills, Calif.


DEADBEATS CAN'T WIN. An Indiana man last month won a $16,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycle, which he converted to cash, in the Hoosier Lottery. It turned out he owed $23,000 in child support, so the state confiscated the $11,500 of his winnings that remained after taxes, said Bill Steffen, chief legal counsel for the Child Support Bureau.

In 1989, when Indiana first adopted the lottery, a child support worker thought it would be a good idea to link the child support collection system to the lottery mainframe, Steffen said. The state collects any lottery winnings over $500 if the winner owes child support.

Child support workers in 92 counties forward data that they store on IBM AS/400 minicomputers to the state's IBM mainframe each month. The bureau then forwards a tape to the Lottery Commission, which matches the Social Security number of anyone who owes child support to lottery winners.


GROWING WEBBERY. Seven state agencies ranging from the Transportation Department to the Pharmacy Examiners Board recently have posted new or upgraded Web sites.

An additional 12 agencies are working on new concepts for their Web sites. IOWAccess, the state's main Web site, at, has received seven Web site quality awards, including Vice President Gore's Hammer Award.


DRY IN DODGE. Fifteen of the 18 pumps that provide water to Dodge City shut down because of a computer failure on July 18, leaving the city's 20,000 water customers without service.

An analog chip failed, said Roy Ochs, utility records technician with the Dodge City Water Department. The chip read the pump water pressure as too high and shut everything down, Ochs said. But it was replaced the same day, 'and we're back up and running good now,' he said.


PLAY BALL. Officials in Louisville used the Internet to assess the popularity of a proposal to pay for a new $220 million professional basketball arena with tax revenue. During the week of June 12, the county used its Web site, at, to receive 976 responses about the arena issue. The county also received 150 phone calls and two handwritten letters. Sixty-seven percent voted against the new arena, 28 percent for, and 5 percent were undecided.

The Web site resides on a Compaq server with dual 200-MHz Pentium processors, 512M of RAM and three 8G hard drives. The system runs Microsoft's Internet Information Server and FrontPage under Windows NT.


OFFENDER SEARCH. Since it went up on March 24, the state police's sex offender Web site has attracted more than 1.2 million searches for offenders, State Police Lt. Brian Wynne said.

The site, at, is updated whenever the police receive new information about sex offenders, which is almost daily, Wynne said. The police worked with Vector Software Services of Scottsdale, Ariz., to create the site.MAINE

CLOSER LOOK. The Governmental Ethics and Election Practices Commission plans to take up the issue of Rep. Joseph Bruno's dual role as a state contractor and a legislator for the second time at its next meeting [GCN/State & Local, July, Page 1]. Commissioner Michael Carpenter asked executive director Bill Hain to prepare background material on the matter at the commission's last meeting. Rep. Bruno's role as president and chief executive officer of state contractor Goold Health Systems Inc. has prompted the Washington watchdog group Center for Public Integrity to raise questions about a possible conflict of interest.


SWITCHING HATS. Donald V. Evans, formerly chief information officer and director of information systems and telecommunications for Montgomery County, Md., joined Public Technology Inc. as the organization's first CIO.

He will oversee a wide range of information technology projects both within and outside the non-profit coalition of cities and counties. Montgomery County has launched a nationwide search for a new CIO, who will oversee a department with 136 employees and an $18 million annual budget.


IT'S BEEN REAL. The Division of Capital Asset Management has launched a new system to track the state's inventory of real property. The Comprehensive Asset Management Information System (CAMIS) is based on the facilities and asset management information system from Prism Computer Corp. of Irvine, Calif. The engineering firm Parsons Brickerhoff of Boston is conducting a survey of all state buildings and their mechanical and electric systems for entry into CAMIS.


DIGITAL BENEFITS. The Unemployment Agency plans to convert its statewide system of walk-in claims centers to an exclusively Internet- and telephone-based service delivery system by 2002.

The agency will use four Sun Enterprise 4500 servers, each with 2G of RAM and running Oracle database software and Netscape applications such as IPlanet, Network Application Server and Network Enterprise Server under SunSoft Solaris.

The agency plans to upgrade the storage capacity of the four Sun servers to the 1T range and to purchase network switches to support an interactive voice response system for unemployment benefit applicants and employers.


NORTHERN EXPOSURE. The Office of Technology rolled out the North Star Development Center, a section of its Web site at, to provide government clients with an electronic toolkit for site design.

The center will provide visitors with updates on plans to expand and enhance Minnesota's Web presence. State officials want to develop a secure second-generation Web portal with more valuable and easily accessible information.


SECOND OPINION. The Department of IT Services has delayed for up to a month its planned choice of a vendor to provide Internet sales of hunting and fishing licenses and boat registrations for the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. Officials will seek an opinion from the attorney general on the state's ability to allow a business model in which the vendor owns the Web site and retains the rights to resell services to other vendors and sell advertising without the state's approval.


FAIR FEVER. Better look both ways, because the Missouri State Fair is traveling at speeds of 2,000 smiles an hour this month from Aug. 10 to Aug. 20, according to the State Fair Web site, at

Callis & Associates of Sedalia developed the Web site for the State Fair in HomePage Version 3.0 from Claris Corp. of Santa Clara, Calif. Callis & Associates also developed the fair's cosmic theme.


BIG SKY NETWORK. US West Inc. of Englewood, Colo., won a $10 million, five-year contract to supply asynchronous transfer mode switching technology to 10 cities in the state: Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Dillon, Great Falls, Havre, Helena, Kalispell, Missoula and one city in eastern Montana, either Glendive or Miles City.

Called SummitNet II, the ATM network will transport digital signals at speeds of up to 155 Mbps and will begin operating in the next 12 to 18 months, US West officials said.


UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT. Gov. Mike Johanns recently transferred responsibility for the state's welfare and child support collection systems from the Health and Human Services Department to the Administration Department.

The Nebraska Family Online Client User System and the Children Have a Right to Support system together have cost the state more that $100 million over the past five years because of missed deadlines, production cost overruns and computer problems, Johanns said.

Putting the systems under the direction of the Administration Department will improve system accountability, Johanns said.


LACKLUSTER SPENDING. The Administration Department worked two years to create a master list of recommended imaging system vendors for the state's 450 agencies.

'We just didn't want agencies to get into situations where a vendor would woefully oversell their products with expensive features the agency didn't need,' said Greg Smith, purchasing officer with the Administration Department. The department set up a Document Imaging Committee that narrowed the field of vendors from 30 to three.

But sales have been slow. Since the master list debuted on Jan. 1, only one agency has used it'to buy a small $60,000 imaging system, Smith said. A few agencies, the Motor Vehicles Department and the Secretary of State's Office, have been 'kicking tires,' Smith said, but nobody has followed up the first purchase.


CONSOLIDATE, COMMUNICATE. Gov. Jeanne Shaheen signed legislation that promotes development of Internet, broadband and digital communications services throughout the state, especially in rural areas.

As part of the program, the Resources and Economic Development Department will create a Telecommunications Answer Center on the state's Web site, at The center's task will be to promote a strong telecommunications industry tandem with local communities and small businesses to consolidate demand for telecommunications services.


DIGITAL MAKEOVER. The Office of IT unveiled what it calls a preportal Web site intended to foreshadow the state's transition to a full electronic government.

The site, at, is organized along functional lines rather than according to the boundaries of state agencies and departments.

Anna Thomas, director of communications and creative services for the office, said New Jersey plans to progressively roll out e-government services based on public-key digital signatures.

State officials designed the site using tools from Macromedia Inc. of San Francisco, including Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Generator and Flash. The site resides on a Sun Microsystems Enterprise 3500 server with two 336-MHz processors and 1G of RAM and a 65G storage array. It runs Netscape Enterprise Server under SunSoft Solaris.


SUPPLY SIDE. PC Specialists Inc., which does business as Technology Integration Group, last month won a computer supply contract valued at $5 million from New Mexico.

For a year, the San Diego company will supply all state agencies with computer hardware and software from manufacturers including Compaq Computer Corp.; 3Com Corp. of Santa Clara, Calif.; Cisco Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif.; Dell Computer Corp.; Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM Corp.


LOOK AGAIN. The New York State Police, the Thruway Authority and the Transportation Department plan to launch a Missing Persons Alert program to help find individuals who have been reported missing under suspicious circumstances. The agencies will use their Web sites, at, and, to post descriptions of missing persons.

'When there's a crime committed, the first 48 hours are the most important to us in terms of getting the leads to crack the crime,' State Police Superintendant James McMahon said as he announced the MPA program. The state police and transportation Web sites receive nearly 43,000 hits daily. Persons viewing the MPA notices who have information for the police will be able to respond via e-mail.


SPREADING THE NET. The Commerce Department will provide $500,000 in grants for networked computer equipment to schools in the state's most economically depressed areas.

Thirty-six schools in 25 low-income areas will receive the grants, in the amount of about $13,000 each. The school systems will be allowed to choose the hardware and software they will purchase with the grants, which are restricted to start-up costs only.


DATA TRAIL A-WINDING. Officials unveiled a statewide broadband data network that is set to connect 64 communities by year's end and eventually connect 552 locations in 194 communities. Bismarck-based Dakota Carrier Network, a consortium of 15 rural telephone companies, won the contract to manage the network in a competition with 11 other prospective vendors.

North Dakota's CIO, Curtis Wolfe, said the network initially will connect government offices and schools, but that businesses and individuals eventually will link to the system. The network will include 15 switches and a network operation center in Bismarck. Sprint Corp. will provide Internet services to state offices and educational facilities, and Corporate Technologies Inc. of Fargo will provide customer premises equipment.


INFORMED DECISIONS. The Aging Department this fall will launch a new Web site providing information about long-term care facilities. The Web site will feature links for more than 1,000 nursing homes in Ohio.

It will include results of annual nursing home resident surveys and histories of regulatory compliance, as well as the location and size of facilities and information about special programs.


PLENTIFUL PLATFORMS. Altus is densely wired for a town of 23,000 people. The city WAN serves Novell NetWare, Unix, Linux and Microsoft Windows NT platforms, said Dave Locke, information systems manager for Altus. The WAN connects to about 60 desktop and notebook PCs, Locke said.


PLENTY O' VIDEO. The Education Department bought new videoconferencing equipment for the state's high schools and administrative offices, thanks to special funding provided by a state telecommunications bill passed last year.

The department bought more than 200 videoconferencing systems for $19,555 each from Vtel of Austin, Texas. Each system includes Vtel's Galaxy videoconferencing system with the industry standard H.323 network interface, a Sony CCD-PC1 digital camera, two Sony 32-inch color video monitors, and a wired keyboard and mouse.


LURING THE BUCK. The Community and Economic Development Department and Team Pennsylvania have revamped the state's economic development Web site, at

The new site contains more than 2,000 files of economic data about Pennsylvania, including guides to local tax rates and information about state economic incentive programs, local educational levels, and employee demographics. Team Pennsylvania is a public-private partnership aimed at attracting new businesses and retaining businesses already in the state.


LICENSE AND REGISTRATION. The Health Department has posted a database of health providers' licensing details on the Web at

The License 2000 project allows Internet users to check the educational credentials of health care providers and find out if specific providers have ever been disciplined by state health authorities. It provides information about doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, nursing homes, hospitals and laboratories. The License 2000 database consolidates 43 separate legacy databases and soon will provide the functions of applying for licenses and paying licensing fees.


TAG, YOU'RE IT. Lexington County has untangled a problem caused by a decision not to test a new software interface between the county's tax collection system and the state Motor Vehicle Department's tag renewal system.

The problem started when the county bought new tax collection software, county treasurer Bill Rowell said. After county officials decided not to test the interface between the software and the DMV system, the tax system began spewing out long lists of error messages, more than 6,000, he said.

As a result, 800 vehicle owners did not receive license renewal tags that were due in May and June. 'It's fixed now,' Rowell said, 'but it's one of those things that happens and you're sick about it.'


BUGGY WEB SITE. The Agriculture Department forged an agreement with Kelly Registration Systems Inc. of Covington, Ga., under which the company will maintain a Web site of information about pesticides approved for sale in the state.

The Web site includes information on crops for which pesticides may be used, formulations, active ingredients and pest effects. The department's former site offered less information.

South Dakota will provide updated pesticide information weekly for posting on; the service is free to the state.

Gardeners and farmers in Idaho, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Oregon also are using Web sites maintained by Kelly to access information about state pesticide regulations.


DRIVE BUY. The Office of Information Resources acquired a four-drive compact disk burner system for its data center from DataWare, a division of Anacomp Inc. of San Diego. The DataWare CD system includes Microsoft Windows software that allows users to retrieve data by index searching, text searching or browsing. The equipment creates CDs that can store about 650M of data, as well as the index files needed to retrieve and view data.


TEACHER POWER. All 41 teachers at Earl H. Slaughter Elementary School in McKinney won notebook PCs in the McKinney Independent School District's Power Brokers program.

Teachers earn power points for using technology in their classrooms, said Jill Lueke, a first-grade teacher at Slaughter Elementary. The district awarded points to teachers for desktop publishing projects, Web site quests and online video projects. Once teachers earn 2,000 points, the district gives them a Dell Latitude CS notebook PC with a 400-MHz Pentium II processor and 64M of RAM.

Slaughter's media specialist Julie Foughty helped teachers integrate technology into lesson plans, Lueke said.

Salt Lake County recorder Nancy Workman performs the first digital signing of a real estate document in Utah.


DIGITAL ESTATE. Salt Lake County Recorder Nancy Workman recently performed the first digital signing and recording of a real estate document in the state. Workman used digital signature software from InGeo Systems of North Logan.

Certification authority Arcanvs Inc. of Salt Lake City issued the digital certificate Workman used to transmit three mortgage releases securely over the Internet, said Andrew Harper, technology administrator for the Recorder's Office.


BEAN COUNTING. Officials in the Finance and Management Department say their $13.8 million project to convert the state's financial system to updated software is on target for completion by July of next year. When the five-phase project is complete, state officials and consultants from Arthur Andersen & Co. will have built a client-server system based on Hewlett-Packard N class servers running HP-UX 11, an Oracle8 Release 8.0.6 database and PeopleSoft for Education and Government 7.5 from PeopleSoft Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif.

The new system will replace a batch processing system written in Cobol that runs on the state's IBM 3090 mainframe under SQL.


SIGN HERE. The Information Technology Department is testing digital signature technology for use by state agencies when they request changes to their telecommunications systems. DIT is using public-key infrastructure technology to generate, distribute and maintain digital certificates as the basis of electronic signatures.

DIT plans to conclude the pilot project next month. It is using InternetForms Designer software from PureEdge Solutions Corp. of San Francisco to create forms, the Sagavista Web-to-mainframe middleware from Saga Software of Dallas and digital certificate services from Verisign Inc. of Mountain View, Calif. Virginia's General Assembly will consider the results of the pilot program when it takes up digital signature legislation next year.


CENTS AND SENSIBILITY. Washington was the first state to join Buysense, an electronic-procurement service developed by American Management Systems Inc. of Fairfax, Va. The site, at runs an electronic-commerce software suite from Ariba Inc. of Mountain View, Calif.

Gov. Gary Locke says the online system will save state agencies'and ultimately, taxpayers'time and money. The switch from paper-based procurement to an electronic purchasing system will save the state $50 in administrative costs per purchase, AMS officials said.


SOFTWARE INJECTION. The Health Care Authority launched a pilot project at 12 health facilities throughout the state to evaluate problem knowledge couplers (PKC), a software application that helps diagnose illnesses and suggest treatment options.

PKC Corp. of Burlington, Vt., will provide the PKC software packages. They are Microsoft Windows applications that help doctors gather information needed for a diagnosis. The PKC applications correlate data about each patient's condition to treatment information based on the most up-to-date medical literature, and help doctors manage an individual's disease.


DAIRYLAND TAXATION. The Revenue Department has issued a $12 million, two-year contract to American Management Systems Inc. of Fairfax, Va., to develop and implement the sales and use tax component of the state's Integrated Tax System. Phase II of the ITS project will lead to creation of a Web system to be used by 75 DOR officials to process sales and use tax returns starting February 2002.

The Phase II project will use a customized Enterprise JavaBean version of AMS' Advantage tax software package. The system likely will use Wisconsin's IBM OS/390 mainframe as its Web server, ITS director Cheryl Sullivan said. Wisconsin is upgrading its tax system in a $50 million, six-phase project set to last six years that officials expect will generate $35 million in additional revenue annually because of improved voluntary compliance.


NET CLAIMS. Wyoming workers can file unemployment insurance claims over the Internet at

The only requirements are that the claimant have a PC with an Internet browser that can handle JavaScript, said Ellen Schreiner, unemployment insurance administrator with the Employment Department.

The Web site protects workers' privacy through the Secure Sockets Layer protocol and a series of firewalls, Schreiner said. The first month that the site was in operation, the department processed more than 120 claims over the Internet, she said.


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