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


ANALYZE THIS. The Madison Police Department is using Video Enhancement Service Center from Intergraph Corp. of Huntsville to analyze video used as evidence in criminal cases.

The system uses video image stabilization and registration technology developed by NASA.

The video system helps police officers more easily identify suspects by stabilizing dark and jumpy video captured by security cameras.


WORKERS UNITE. The Labor and Workforce Development Department created an online job bank, at Employers can advertise job openings for free on both Alaska's and America's Job Bank at Job seekers can search for openings by region or job type. The site is updated six times a day.


IN MEMORIAM. Arthur Ranney Jr. died on March 30. Ranney had been the chief information officer of Arizona for the past year. Before his appointment to the CIO post, he spearheaded the state's year 2000 remediation program.

Ranney was a certified public accountant with 16 years experience as an auditor, accountant and financial analyst.


COSTA TRAINING. When Contra Costa County officials upgraded the county's PeopleSoft Version 7.5 software for human resources, benefits and payroll, they sought a smooth transition. The county worked with Acuent Inc. of Parsippany, N.J., to develop a training course for employees to learn the new software from PeopleSoft Inc. of Pleasanton. More than 120 county employees have taken the class.

THINK INSIDE THE BOX. The Information Network of Arkansas, the electronic-government arm of the state, has developed an online legislation tracking system called Lobbyist-in-a-Box, at For $200 per legislative session, visitors can track Arkansas bills by keywords, committee, legislator or Arkansas code section. Visitors can download information to their personal digital assistants.


FILE BY PHONE. Colorado residents used the Customer Transaction Management system from Enablx Corp. of Randolph, N.J., to file their state income taxes over the Web or by phone.

Coloradans also used the system to check the status of their refunds and order tax forms. CTM routes calls through a Meridian 1 private branch exchange telephone switch from Nortel Networks Corp. of Brampton, Ontario. CTM integrates a 96-port tax-filing server with the Revenue Department's Web site, at


DO IT RIGHT. The Information Technology Department aims to ensure the state fully complies with federal standards for security and privacy of medical data under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

Peter Sullivan, DOIT's electronic-government internal director, will lead the new HIPAA Compliance Program office.


SLIDE INTO FIRST. The state unveiled its new Web portal, at, last month.
Jack Markell, state treasurer, said First State Online will help residents find services more easily online.

Charles Ramsey

SLUR-MAIL. Police officials revealed that dozens of Metropolitan Police Department officers sent allegedly racist, homophobic and vulgar e-mail messages via patrol car computers, potentially violating various laws and jeopardizing criminal prosecutions.

Officials began reviewing 4 million e-mail messages sent over a one-year period to determine how officers were using squad car computers. Police
'People should be able to find the services they need by what they are trying to accomplish, not by searching through listings of state agencies,' Markell said.


SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE. Polk County is using a permit and land management system from Hansen Information Technologies Inc. of Sacramento, Calif., to manage land development, permitting, inspection and contractor licensing activities.

The system lets the state share data among the Building, Planning, Development, Parks and Recreation, Utilities and Transportation departments.


JUST PEACHY. Atlanta expanded its City Community Cyber Center program to add a sixth center, housed at Morris Brown College's Hickman Student Center.

The center provides free access to computers, Internet, e-mail and software. It also offers free computer and Internet training.


APPEAL DEAL. The Labor and Industrial Relations Department asked for proposals from vendors to design, develop and install an employment security appeals system. The successful bidder will provide a client-server system that will track appeals cases and help the Employment Security Appeals Referee's Office issue decisions faster.


O SOLO MIO. This year state legislators are going Solo. Each legislator is using a Solo 9300se from Gateway Inc. to connect to the statehouse's wireless LAN. The 500-MHz Pentium III notebook PCs run Microsoft Windows 98 and have 64M of RAM and 6G hard drives.


ROSEBUD. Kane County signed a $1.2 million contract with Sidwell Co. of St. Charles for geographic information and aerial photography services. Sidwell will conduct a survey of the county and provide topographic mapping at two-foot contour levels, as well as create a database of property and building ownership.


UNANIMOUS VOTE. The Indiana Senate unanimously passed a $6 million appropriation to computerize the state's voter registration system and approved a measure to fund upgraded voting systems statewide. Jurisdictions throughout the state use a mix of punch cards, optical-scanning machines, touch-screen systems and lever machines.

What's up in your agency?
For governments east of the Mississippi, call 301-650-2145 or e-mail [email protected].
For those west, call 301-650-2238 or e-mail [email protected].

SAY AAAAH. The Iowa Nursing Board saw online license renewal at increase from 18 percent when it was implemented in October to 46 percent in February. The board is improving the site to handle requests for inactive status, reactivations from inactive status and other functions.


RN Rx. The Nursing Board began offering online license renewals for Kansas nurses this year. The renewal system, at, processed about 250 online renewals in its first month. Users pay by electronic funds transfer. The site will accept credit cards by July 1.


MY OLD KENTUCKY CAR. The commonwealth awarded a $9.2 million contract to Covansys Inc. of Farmington Hills, Mich., to build the second phase of the Kentucky Vehicle Information System. Users of the online registration system will be able to tap some functions next month. The state plans to finish KVIS next year.

Covansys received $1.9 million to build the first phase.


BAYOU BLUEPRINT. Louisiana is adding a little digital spice to the state's quality of life. Louisiana released its information technology master plan, LA Connections: Louisiana's Blueprint for Digital State Government. The blueprint envisions that every citizen will have access to Louisiana government services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The state also jumped to 18th place in the Digital State 2000 report from the Progress and Freedom Foundation, a Washington independent research group. Two years ago Louisiana ranked 46th out of 50.


LICENSE AND REGISTRATION, PLEASE. The Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department launched an online licensing system that eases the process of obtaining hunting and fishing licenses and registering boats or sport vehicles. The state contracted with WorldCom Inc. to design the Maine Online Sportsman's Electronic System, at

Alisoun Moore

Alisoun K. Moore, former state chief information officer, has been appointed CIO for Montgomery County's Information Systems and Telecommunications Department. Moore's new position will pay her $135,000 per year.

SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL. The Education Department wasted millions on information technology consultants and had poor controls over expenses for conferences, travel expenses, food and parties, according to a state audit.

The report identified $3 million in undocumented or poorly documented expenses and hundreds of thousands more in spending that did not appear to directly benefit DOE's mission.

In one case, the audit report said, DOE violated regulations when it used an IT consultant rather than competitive procurement channels to buy furniture and rent office space costing $288,030.

Auditors also found that a consultant had approved $615,505 in payments to himself and his employer. And a consultant working as an IT procurement coordinator for the department, at a rate of $66 per hour, also worked as president of one of DOE's contractors, the report said. The consultant processed $2.6 million in expenses that passed through his company. The company received a $243,994 markup on the payment, the audit report said. Massachusetts has ended its ties with the company.


TEACHING TEACHERS. The Wayne County Regional Service Agency, which provides support for 34 school districts and charter schools, has negotiated a contract with Classroom Connect Inc. of Brisbane, Calif., for a suite of teacher education tools.

Up to 20,000 teachers in the Detroit area will get access to the Classroom Connect tools at a discounted price of about $200 per subscription.

BORN AGAIN. The city of St. Paul hired Born Inc., a consulting firm in Wayzata, to design a new electronic-government Web site. Under the $153,000 contract, Born will redesign the city's site, at, to make it easier to navigate and let city departments update their Web pages without the help of a webmaster.


HANDS UP. The Public Safety Department released a request for proposals to enhance the Mississippi Criminal History System. The department this summer will issue a list of certified equipment proposed by vendors from which local sheriffs and police departments will be able to buy hardware and software.


NO CALLS PLEASE. Missourians can register online to block most telemarketing calls to their homes under a law that takes effect July 1. The Attorney General's office operates the registration site at

MONTANA MAKES IT. The Agriculture and Commerce departments joined forces to present the Made in Montana conference in Helena. More than 2,000 people attended the conference, which included classes on better Web site building and design.


SWITCH HITTERS. The Administration Department issued a request for proposals for an electronic message switching system for the Nebraska State Patrol.

The winning bidder will provide a switching system that will work with the state's mainframe and will reduce the need for custom code. The system also must be able to communicate with the FBI's National Crime Information Center 2000 system and support the TCP/IP and LU6.2 communications protocols. Proposals are due May 22.


Y2K PLUS ONE. It was d'j' vu all over again at the Carson City Sheriff's Department on New Year's Day. Some computers in the department registered the date as Jan. 1, 1901.

Officials soon found the error in code that ran the computers in the jail, dispatch and records departments and fixed it by the next morning. City officials described the problem as little more than a nuisance.


LOAD OF HARDWARE. The state has awarded a contract to CDW-Government Inc., a subsidiary of CDW Computer Centers Inc. of Vernon Hills, Ill., to supply hardware to more than 60 state, municipal and education agencies.

Over two years, CDW-G will provide printers, servers, desktop PCs, notebook PCs and networking systems from Cisco Systems Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp. and Lexmark International Inc. of Lexington, Ky.
In addition, CDW-G will create an electronic-commerce Web site so that workers can track purchases and verify shipping online.


STUDY MONEY. Acting Gov. Donald T. DiFrancesco established the Local Unit Electronic Technology pilot program to study the use of electronic technology for purchasing commodities and services for local government agencies, as well as the sale of surplus property over the Internet. The state set aside $150,000 for the program.


EYE SITE. Motor Vehicle Division officials plan to develop a virtual field office by October. Motorists will be able to take eye exams and written tests online.

Officials will be on the alert for cheaters'people who have their friends with 20/20 vision take the eye test for them. To prevent this, applicants will need a videoconference camera so department employees can verify their identity.

The MVD Web site, at, offers a link to a demonstration of the eye exam. The vision exam takes about nine minutes, tests distance, peripheral and night vision, and checks for cataracts.


SPARE PARTS. The Environmental Protection Department's Bureau of Water and Sewer Operations is using Integrated Supply Chain Management from Hansen Information Technologies Inc. of Sacramento, Calif., to link field crews to warehouse information.

The app helps the bureau track its inventory and use of hundreds of thousands of spare parts in 26 repair and maintenance yards and three storage facilities.


GIVE ME SOME CREDIT. Middle school teachers are participating in a Web page development course. NC Classes Online is a pilot program in which teachers learn how to create their own Web sites using Yahoo Inc.'s PageWizard tool.

The state contracted with Accenture LLP of Chicago for the program. Teachers receive continuing education credit for attending the class. The state plans to expand the program to all public school teachers by fall.


COOL TO A FAULT. North Dakota is using Netcool fault management software from Micromuse Inc. of San Francisco to keep the state's fiber-optic voice and data network running. Netcool collects information on network faults and notifies network administrators of possible service disruptions.


BIG ADDITION. Ohio SchoolNet, the state's interactive video distance-learning program, is adding 250 videoconferencing systems in public high schools. The state is using Galaxy videoconferencing systems and network equipment from VTel Corp. of Austin, Texas. Ohio already has 125 VTel systems deployed in high schools throughout the state.


DIGITAL GAP. The state Education Department's technology report card for Oklahoma schools shows an average ratio of 6.15 students per computer. Eighty-one percent of state classrooms have a dedicated Internet connection. But the report also reveals some digital gaps. One Tulsa-area school district has 58 students for each computer.


HIGH FIBER. Ashland Fiber Network is the first city-owned telecommunications network in Oregon. The city of Ashland leases a fiber line from Qwest Communications International Inc. of Denver. City officials borrowed $5.8 million to start the network. Officials say they won't see a profit for five years.


UNIFORM CRIME. The state has developed a first-of-its-kind system that lists crime statistics on the Internet for towns, counties, regions, college campuses and the state as a whole. Local law enforcement agencies post their monthly statistics directly to the Uniform Crime Reporting System Web site, at


FINGERED. State Police are using an integrated live-scan fingerprint system from Visionics Corp. of Minnetonka, Minn., which captures, prints and transmits fingerprints without using ink. The biometric identification unit helps the state identify suspects and update criminal records quickly.


SLOW TRAFFIC AHEAD. The Transportation Department installed 100 video cameras and electronic sensors along major roads to prepare for the state's next big hurricane or other disaster.

The department purchased portable electronic message boards that will tell drivers the best routes and warn them of congested areas. In addition, it has placed short-range radio transmitters along major roads so drivers can tune their radios to traffic tips.


TECHNOLOGY GRANT. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave the state a $675,000 matching grant to improve school technology. The grant will support efforts such as the Wiring the Schools program and provide technology training for 450 teachers and school administrators over the next two years.


CYBER CITY. City employees in Mesquite, population 121,900, are mulling whether to allow residents to pay water bills and traffic fines online at The project would cost about $100,000 to launch, city manager Ted Barron said. If the city council approves the plan, Mesquite will be part of an electronic-government pilot program for midsize city governments.

BUT I FLUNKED RATIOS. The Franklin County school system has asked the county commission for $3.5 million to buy 885 additional computers and 1,229 systems to replace obsolete classroom PCs. The request forms the largest chunk of the school system's capital budget and would lower the student-to-computer ratio in the schools to 4-to-1. The current ratio is 4.35-to-1.


STAKE YOUR CLAIM. The State Treasurer's Office launched a searchable Web site for unclaimed property at About 400,000 people are entitled to some part of $70 million worth of unclaimed funds held by the state.


LATE FILING. The Tax Department launched an online income tax filing system that began too late for most residents to use for their 2000 returns. The state will add more services to the system, at, by next tax season.


IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE? The Health Professions Department has developed an online service for residents to find licensed health professionals. The Licensee Look-Up Service, at or, gives names of health professionals, addresses, license numbers and licensing dates.


EAGLE EYE. The Fish and Wildlife Department's EagleCam received quite a jolt during the February 28 earthquake that shook the northwest states. The camera was filming a bald eagle's nest behind the governor's mansion.

'It probably wasn't the earthquake so much as the subsequent construction noise,' said Michael O'Malley, Watchful Wildlife coordinator for the department.

The birds flew the nest and didn't return. O'Malley and his team set up another camera in Kent.

The camera site, at, received more than 400,000 visitors in three months, O'Malley said.

GOT SITE? The Governor's Office of Technology redesigned its Web site, at, by adding links to other Web sites for residents' convenience and to encourage them to keep returning.

The additional links go to sites tailored for children and seniors, and to technology stories from international news sites that are updated daily. Inc. of San Francisco provides the news links free of charge.


WATCH THAT SPEEDOMETER. The Administration Department made sure that the Web pages on its new portal, at, would download quickly by using the Keynote Perspective service from Keynote Systems Inc. of San Mateo, Calif.

The service uses a network of 1,500 computers located around the world to generate site performance metrics. Wisconsin systems specialists checked how fast their pages downloaded over T1 circuits and pinpointed bottlenecks in the state's Internet backbone.


ADAPTIVE DEMO. The Education Department will demonstrate adaptive equipment on June 7 at the Jeffrey Memorial Center in Rawlins. Teachers, therapists and support personnel will be invited to see the latest in braille keyboards, Arkenstone speech synthesizer software from Freedom Scientific Inc. of St. Petersburg, Fla., and other adaptive products for blind, visually impaired or learning disabled students.


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