CIO steps up to plate for e-gov

CIO steps up to plate for e-gov


As a youngster, North Carolina chief information officer Ronald P. Hawley planned a career in Major League Baseball. But fate had other designs.

North Carolinians expect to have government services online, CIO Ronald Hawley says.
Instead of plying his trade on the baseball diamond, Hawley has made a career in information technology, and he's swinging for the fences with several electronic-government initiatives.

When Hawley attended college in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he played on his school's baseball team. He earned a bachelor's and a master's degree in education.

Shortly before he finished graduate school in 1973, he was recruited by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to be a special investigative agent. The job turned into a 26-year assignment.

Early in his career, Hawley said he searched for ways to use technology to do his job more efficiently. As a result, his office launched a pilot program for all agents to use personal computers.

Who's in Charge

Ronald P. Hawley
Chief Information Officer

Michael Fenton
Chief Technology Officer

Tom Runkle

Chief Planning Officer

Patricia LaBarbera

Chief Financial Officer

Sharon Hayes

Director, E-Government Project Office

Major Projects

  • Computing services: Provides computing services to agencies in the state, plus county and city agencies

  • Enterprise program management: Guides information technology projects by providing project management consulting, training, mentoring and support; generates oversight reports and assessments

  • Procurement: Provides statewide procurement services and oversees the electronic procurement Web site at

  • Security: Oversees security functions and coordinates all security programs to protect the state's IT assets

  • Telecommunications services: Provides data, voice and video telecommunications for state agencies and other government users

  • North Carolina: Selected expenditures

    Telecom and networks$25,667
    Contracted personnel12,278
    Mainframe services1,413
    Source: North Carolina Information Technology Services Department

    In 1994, Hawley was appointed to co-chair the state's Criminal Justice Information Network Study Committee, which reported recommendations for interagency integration of criminal justice information. He went on to work as the North Carolina Justice Department's interim CIO and the Information Technology Services Department's chief operating officer. He became state CIO last August.

    'My job now is extremely different than when I was an investigator, but not so different than when I was developing systems for criminal justice and law enforcement,' Hawley said. 'It's now just a little more broad and much more in-depth.'

    Hawley said one of his main goals is to build e-government system models once and use them several times.

    'Our authentication system for credit card services is the model we will use for several areas of enterprise,' he said.

    The state contracted with Accenture LLP of Chicago and Yahoo Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., last fall to develop its new portal, NC @ Your Service. The state used Yahoo's Portal Builder, which runs under Microsoft Windows NT and taps a SQL Server database.

    Auto registration renewal through the Motor Vehicles Division is one of the new services offered on the site, at

    'We had 5,000 people use the registration service in the first month and nearly 16,000 last month,' Hawley said. 'That's a lot of people no longer having to stand in lines. In fact, before we had even publicized the site, within three days of it being available we had 150 people find the site and use it. That shows you that people expect government services to be online.'

    North Carolina plans to launch online procurement by July. It has hired Accenture and Epylon Corp. of San Francisco to provide the online bidding service.


    Hawley said the state's electronic procurement project is a self-funding model. That fact becomes even more important since the state is facing a budget shortfall this year. And Hawley's office will endure a budget cut of $10 million in fiscal 2002.

    To do business online in North Carolina, state suppliers will pay an additional fee of 1.75 percent of their contract award.

    Accenture and Epylon will receive payment after the state collects the fee.

    Robert Berton, Accenture's managing partner for state government, said his company was willing to put up the money for the project.

    'We have enough confidence that the state will achieve successful results,' he said.

    Vendors are not charged anything for participating in the online bidding process.

    The state is using Buyer 7.0 from Ariba Inc. of Mountain View, Calif., for the service.

    City and county agencies can also search the online service for existing government contracts to prevent duplication.

    Epylon's eQuote application automatically creates the winning supplier's contract and posts it to the Web site.

    As part of its contract, Epylon is helping the state convince small and minority-owned businesses to use the electronic procurement service.


    • Records management: Look beyond the NARA mandates

      Pandemic tests electronic records management

      Between the rush enable more virtual collaboration, stalled digitization of archived records and managing records that reside in datasets, records management executives are sorting through new challenges.

    • boy learning at home (Travelpixs/

      Tucson’s community wireless bridges the digital divide

      The city built cell sites at government-owned facilities such as fire departments and libraries that were already connected to Tucson’s existing fiber backbone.

    Stay Connected