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

What's up in your agency?

For governments east of the Mississippi, call 301-650-2225 or e-mail wdizard@

For those west, call 301-650-2238 or e-mail twalsh@


ON THE LOOSE. Officials blamed a software failure for the escape of six inmates from the St. Clair County Correctional Facility in February. The jail's $600,000 alarm system dates to 1996; it runs the lethal electric fence under which the convicts escaped. Police in Tennessee captured all six escapees two days after the jailbreak.


THE LAYERED LOOK. Geologist Melanie Werdon exported the complex layers of the U.S. Geological Survey's metadata geological map of Alaska into a simpler format using ArcView from Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif. She put the map on the Natural Resources Department's Web site at in ArcView, Encapsulated PostScript and Portable Document formats.


WIRELESS WAN. The Bullhead City police department is using wireless dispatch system middleware from ClientSoft Inc. The Hawthorne, N.Y., company's ClientBuilder Enterprise middleware links the city's IBM AS/400 midrange server to the city's wireless WAN. Officers tap into state, local and federal law enforcement databases via notebook PCs with touch-screen monitors.


Arkansans making less than $25,000 a year can receive free tax preparation and electronic filing services over the Web for both their state and federal tax returns. Intuit Inc. of Mountain View, Calif., maker of Quicken TurboTax, is providing the service on Arkansas' Finance and Administration Web site at Taxpayers who don't have computers can participate through their local library.


POUND THE E-PAVEMENT. The California State Personnel Board adopted ReachForm electronic forms from JetForm Corp. of Mountain View, Calif., to speed the application process for civil service jobs. Applicants sign up for a user ID and password at They fill out the online application and send the data to a secure database. Users can log off and come back later to complete or edit their application. They submit the finished application as an Adobe Portable Document Format file.


MILE-HIGH GIS. Denver International Airport standardized its geographic information system on Autodesk software from Autodesk Inc. Engineers use the San Rafael, Calif., company's AutoCAD 2000i, MapGuide and AutoCAD Map, Land Development Desktop, Field Survey and Civil Design to manage the airport's facilities. The GIS accesses an Oracle Corp. database and a network of servers running a mix of Unix and Windows NT.


WE ARE FAMILY. The state is restructuring its information technology systems and moving 114 employees now working in small and midsize agencies to the Information Technology Department.

Rock Regan, DOIT chief information officer, released a detailed transition plan in February that calls for the gradual transfer of IT employees. The transition will begin July 1.


HIDDEN TREASURES. Delaware's state museum agency is using its newly designed Web site to encourage residents to contribute historical and cultural artifacts. The Delaware State Museums site at asks residents to donate objects or contribute money for their maintenance.

Some of the items the state agency wants are silver pieces created from 1700 to 1850 by Delaware silversmiths, as well as Victrola machines, records and memorabilia.


OUT OF ORBIT. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has teamed with Orbital Sciences Corp. to install SmartMDT, a mobile data terminal control unit, in more than 1,700 buses and service vehicles.

The Columbia, Md., company will also install its ORBCAD-NT communications and dispatch system in WMATA's Operations Control Center. The system will manage and control WMATA's bus and service vehicle fleet.


HAVE A NET DAY. The Governor's Mentoring Initiative, a recruitment drive for student advisers, received 250 PCs from Intermedia Communications Inc. of Tampa. The donation is part of NetDay, a volunteer program that fosters long-term partnerships between businesses and the education community.


SPEAKING OF CHILDREN. The Child Advocate Office's new site, at, includes an e-mail link to the Macon office, telephone numbers and a list of staff members.

The Web site has special forms for the public to report problems with state agencies that handle child protection. In addition, the site has a link for child welfare professionals and law enforcement personnel to communicate about individual cases online.


LUCKY LUXN. Hawaii last month chose Luxn Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., to beef up the bandwidth on its fiber-optic Institutional Network. I-Net hosts network services for the University of Hawaii, the Education Department and state executive branch offices.

Luxn will load onto the network its WavSystem, an optical platform that supports video and data and works with I-Net's OC-12 Synchronous Optical Network architecture.


DON'T CALL US' Idaho's Consumer Protection Unit joined forces with the Idaho Information Consortium, a subsidiary of the National Information Consortium of Reston, Va., to combat one of the chief annoyances of modern life: unwanted calls from telemarketers. Citizens can register over the state Web site, at, to join a no-call list.
Since the service went online last month, more than 13,000 Idahoans have registered for the no-call list.


THE LINCOLN SHOW. Illinois residents and history buffs worldwide can watch the construction of the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum on Lincolncam, at The webcam now shows a broad view of the future site of the library in downtown Springfield.

State, city and federal funds for the construction project have reached about $63 million; library proponents expect the Lincolncam will help raise additional donations.


OUT WITH THE OLD. Marion County has signed a $2.2 million contract with Cole Layer Trumble, a subsidiary of Tyler Technologies Inc. of Dallas, to replace its property tax administration system. The contract is part of a $3.6 million project to upgrade the county's land records and property tax systems.

Under the contract, CLT will replace the county's property tax mainframe system with a new Integrated Assessment System. The new system will allow the county to provide property tax billing, collection records and supporting data online.


SELL IT TO THE JUDGE. Judicial branch officials are reviewing bids to build the Iowa Court Information System, a document management system that would incorporate
e-mail, databases, workflow applications, optical storage and Web access.

The branch's Evaluation Committee received 11 ICIS proposals and has narrowed the candidates to three: Digital Data Resources Inc. of Des Moines, Information Systems and Networks Corp. of Atlanta and Inc. of Chicago. The committee also is reviewing a proposal from Compaq Computer Corp. to provide only ICIS hardware.


CAN DO. The Information Systems and Communications Division released a request for proposals for telecommunications systems that will support the Kansas Agency Network 2001 project. The successful bidder will provide the statewide voice, video and data network with teleconferencing services, video services and Internet access. The division posted the RFP in Microsoft Word format at


THEY'RE CATCHING. Virus protection software on the statewide network shielded Kentucky's Web servers from 3,055 virus attacks in December, according to the Governor's Office for Technology.

The most frequently encountered virus was W32/Navidad, one of 29 viruses blocked by Webshield from McAfee Associates Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif. The antivirus software prevented 982 attempts by W32/Navidad viruses to infect the servers. GOT's Virus Defense Team provides antivirus software to state agencies via


NEW BOSS DUBOS. Gov. M.J. 'Mike' Foster Jr. early this year appointed James DuBos to be the state's first chief information officer. DuBos has worked in information technology in the private sector for 15 years. A native of Baton Rouge, DuBos had been chief executive officer of an Internet service provider in Louisiana prior to his appointment.


NEW CHIEF. Gov. Angus King appointed Harry Lanphear chief information officer.
Lanphear most recently oversaw information technology for Central Maine Power Co. of Augusta and managed a $40 million budget.


HEY BIG SPENDER. Gov. Parris N. Glendening's fiscal 2002 budget proposed spending $3.8 million for new computers in public schools and another $5.4 million to wire classrooms for the Internet and for teacher training.

The budget calls for $1.5 million for improving networks in correctional institutions. Glendening wants the Legislature to approve $180,000 for a system that would let low-risk offenders report electronically at special kiosks to their parole and probation agents.


FREE RIDE. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority lists senior executives' e-mail addresses on posters in subway stations and on buses. MBTA is urging riders to send complaints about late trains and buses directly to executives.
Riders who complain about trains and buses that are more than 30 minutes late will be given a voucher for a free ride under the MBTA's new Customer Bill of Rights program.


DOMESDAY DATABASE. The state library placed the Michigan 1870 Census online at The information previously was available only in print and on microfilm. It provides an index to 436,000 names that are cross-referenced to 36,000 census documents.


DAY FOR IT. The Technology Office in February held its first annual Technology Day at the state capitol. About 20 agencies set up booths to display their information technology projects.

The exhibition aimed to show state lawmakers how agencies have applied IT in areas from preschool education to business process re-engineering.


TIN-CUP MISSION. Gov. Ronnie Musgrove directed the Classroom Technology Task Force to ensure that every public elementary and secondary classroom in the state has a computer linked to the Internet by 2002. The state plans to install 6,325 such computers but hasn't yet raised all the funding. Musgrove plans a private-sector donation campaign so the state can complete the project on time.


WHERE CREDIT IS DUE. The state won't be able to properly evaluate the effectiveness of its 33 tax credit programs until it establishes a system to track the data, state auditor Claire McCaskill said.

Her report on the programs found discrepancies in partial tax credit records maintained by the Economic Development and Revenue departments, which showed a $19.4 million difference in credit redemptions for fiscal 1999. McCaskill said Ohio runs a performance measurement system for its tax credits that could work in Missouri.


DOOR TO 2004.
Nebraska extended its contract with Nebraska Interactive Inc. of Lincoln, a subsidiary of NIC of Overland Park, Kan. The company will manage the state's Web portal, at, through January 2004. Nebraska Interactive has worked with the state on its electronic government Web portal since 1995. Last year the site logged more than 64 million visits and processed more than 5 million transactions.


KEEPING UP. Responding to e-mail correspondence has become a huge part of the work in Gov. Judy Martz's office, said spokeswoman Mary Jo Fox. The office receives more than 100 e-mail messages each day and uses Microsoft Outlook.

Martz is trying to convince the Legislature that the state needs to make a larger investment in information technology, Fox said.


DOT-COM AND GET IT. Dun & Bradstreet Inc. of Murray Hill, N.J., ranked Las Vegas as the 14th best city in the nation to start a dot-com. Las Vegas beat San Francisco, Denver, San Diego, Portland, Ore., Boston, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Minneapolis.


I NEED MONEY. Supreme Court Chief Justice David Brock has asked the Legislature to give the court system $2 million in its new budget for more computers. Brock also asked for funds to upgrade the Supreme Court law library's catalog system with an electronic index.


REPORT TO ME. The New Jersey School Report Card released in February shows that the average number of computers in elementary schools is one in every 5.9 students.

The Education Department compiled the report, which contains statistical profiles of all public schools in the state. It posted the report at and at


THE WRONG GUY. The state's sex offender Web site, at, mistakenly posted the home addresses of several nonoffenders.

One sex offender falsely listed his residence as the home address of Edward Hood, a law-abiding citizen. A neighbor found Hood's address on the site and distributed fliers throughout the area warning neighbors that a sex offender lived at Hood's address. Hood had to go door-to-door through his neighborhood explaining the mistake.


SO NICE THEY NAMED IT TWICE. New York City's Information Technology and Telecommunications Department has awarded Golden Screens Interactive Technologies Inc. of New York a $1.3 million contract to provide a network of public kiosks with Internet access.

The CityAccess Kiosk project will provide New York's 8 million residents with free online access to government services 24 hours a day.


CRIME CONNECTION. Police departments in Archdale, Winston-Salem, High Point, Greensboro, Kernersville, Lexington and Thomasville have installed a system that lets officers instantly access one another's crime records.

The law enforcement agencies are using Police-to-Police software, or P2P, from Open Software Solutions Inc. of Greensboro. The Governor's Crime Commission funded the project with a $372,064 grant.


TAG! YOU'RE IT! The Motor Vehicles Division's Vehicle Registration and Titling System went live in October, the division's busiest time of year, and replaced a 32-year-old IBM Corp. mainframe system.

The division had backlogs with the client-server VRTS because of an employee shortage. As a result, the division has authorized car dealerships to issue additional 30-day temporary tags until the permanent tags are ready. Since October, the system has processed more than 400,000 transactions.


LIFE IN THE FAST LANE. Butler County is installing a $7 million fiber-optic network that will link Fairfield, Hamilton, Middletown, Oxford and West Chester Township with Miami University, and make high-speed communications accessible to agencies, schools and businesses.

The county has concluded a $2 million contract with SFT Inc. of Toledo, which will invest about $5 million of its own funds to build the network in one year.


GOOD USE. The State Use program, a division of Central Purchasing, has developed a CD-ROM that looks like a business card but delivers animated video and text information about the program. Through the program, Central Purchasing provides employment under state contracts for 2,000 people with disabilities in 62 sheltered workshops. Opportunity Productions Inc. of Enid, one of the workshops, produced and filmed the CD.


JUST IMAGINE. Gov. Tom Ridge appointed Donald Edmiston project manager for Imagine PA, an effort to overhaul all state agencies' software for accounting, budgeting, payroll, personnel and purchasing functions. The state will migrate from its in-house application, the Integrated Central System, to enterprise resource planning software from SAP AG of Walldorf, Germany.

Edmiston previously was financial management director in the Governor's Office of the Budget.


HEAT OF THE NIGHT. On a cold night in 1992, Oregon National Guard officers used an Agema 210 ThermaVision thermal imager from Flir Systems of Portland to detect the unusual heat patterns emanating from Danny Kyllo's house in Florence. The heat was caused by high-intensity lamps Kyllo was using to grow marijuana. He was subsequently convicted of drug offenses.

Kyllo appealed the verdict, saying the officers were required by the Constitution to get a search warrant before they aimed the Agema 210 unit at his house.

The Supreme Court this year heard oral arguments on whether the use of thermal imaging devices by police to detect heat patterns inside a home is a search that requires a warrant under the Fourth Amendment.

The justices agreed that the thermal devices did not violate citizens' privacy enough to require a warrant.


SURVEY SAYS. Charlestown conducted an online survey at last month to poll residents about how the town should spend a $2 million bond approved by voters last November. Justin Huxol, a Brown University senior studying environmental sciences, created the survey.

Residents who did not have home Internet access used computers at the Town Hall and the Cross Mills Public Library.


WORK IT OUT. The Employment Security Commission has awarded a contract for nearly $2 million to Geographic Solutions Inc. of Palm Harbor, Fla., to install an intranet-Internet client tracking and reporting system.

The commission is implementing the system to meet the requirements of the federal Workforce Investment Act, which was enacted to improve employment, training, literacy and vocational rehabilitation programs. The system will help track the state's progress in finding jobs for welfare recipients.


CIRCUITBOARD JUNGLE. Gov. Bill Janklow earlier this year announced plans for the Center for Statewide E-learning at Northern State University in Aberdeen. Beginning in the fall, the center will offer distance-learning classes to kindergarten-through-12th grade schools and train teachers in videoconferencing and distance learning.


STANDARD PROCEDURE. The Information Resources Office plans to issue Release 10 of its wide-ranging information technology standards this month. The office started releasing the standards in 1998.

The standards cover the gamut of technology issues, from Web publishing guidelines and network management to applications development and computer acquisition.


DIGITAL BIG D. Dallas County selected NIC of Reston, Va., to build an electronic-government Web portal for the nation's 10th largest county. The county will deliver services such as vehicle registration and property tax filing over the site, at


CIO@UTAH. Gov. Mike Leavitt appointed Phillip J. Windley Utah's new chief information officer. Windley replaces Dave Moon, who left the CIO post in September to launch a venture capital company in Utah. Windley, an Idaho native, had been vice president of Excite@Home of Redwood City, Calif., since 1999. He also founded one of the earliest online shopping portals,, which he sold in 1995.


AT YOUR SERVICE. The state gives residents online access to help locate services within their communities. The Vermont ServiceNet at,, can help residents find such services as money to help pay for education, information about choosing and paying for medical or dental care, and programs that help older adults and those with disabilities.


GOOD BENEFITS. The Social Services Department has awarded a $25 million contract to Citicorp Services Inc. of New York to develop and operate an electronic benefits transfer system.

Citicorp will design, develop, implement and operate an EBT card system for the state's Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and Women, Infants and Children programs.


ASK GEORGE. The state deployed a search engine from Ask Jeeves of Emeryville, Calif., on its Web site, at The search engine replaces its signature Internet butler Jeeves with a cartoon of George Washington.


MOTIVATE ME. Gov. Bob Wise is using $1,000 awards to prompt state employees to improve citizen services through information technology.

Twelve winners who demonstrate efficient government service through the use of IT will receive up to $1,000. The Governor's Information Technology Awards are sponsored by the Governor's Office of Technology.


UNLUCKY NUMBERS. Gov. Scott McCallum, who opposes legalized gambling, ordered that winning lottery numbers be stripped from the state's Web site, at

'The state of Wisconsin does not need to be promoting gambling in a prominent way via the new Web site,' he said. Gamblers still can check the Wisconsin Lottery's site, at, for the numbers.


TRASH TALK. Cheyenne tested an automated trash truck system with software-powered robotic arms that can pick up garbage cans and hoist them into a dump truck. The new truck systems, from Heil Environmental Industries Ltd. of Chattanooga, Tenn., will save the city $1 million annually in labor costs, said Kevin Sherrodd, assistant city engineer.

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