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

What's up in your agency?

For governments east of the Mississippi, call 301-650-2145 or e-mail [email protected]

For those west, call 301-650-2238 or e-mail [email protected]

Alaska's Office of Veterans Affairs revamped its Web site at The site includes photos of Alaska veterans, such as these Alaska Army Guardsmen who visited the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Washington, D.C., last November.



GET A CLUE. The Investigation Bureau bought 30 FingerPrinter CMS Systems from Visionics Corp. of Jersey City, N.J. The $660,000 purchase will let the Sheriff's Department capture, store and transmit fingerprints electronically.

The system has a built-in capture surface, an instant scanner and a PC linked to the state's main database via a 550-MHz Pentium III dual-processor 5800 series server from NEC America Inc. of Dallas. The system uses an Oracle Corp. database, which resides on an NEC 4800/790c server running Unix.


NOT THAT KIND OF BUG. Patrons of Maricopa County eating establishments can vent their complaints online.

Since May, the county Environmental Services Department's Web site has let visitors file complaints against eating establishments and check restaurant ratings and food inspections at Type in 'pizza,' and up pops a list of 250 pizza restaurants, with addresses and food inspection histories. A random check of Pizza D'Amore at 4550 E. Cactus Road turned up an inspection report that included cockroach sightings and improperly stored calzones.


JONATHAN LEGACY SEAGULL. Arkansas officials are going to use software from Seagull of Atlanta to put the state's IBM 3270 mainframe applications on the Web. The Employment and Retirement system, Tax and Revenue Department and Arkansas Crime Information Center will use Seagull's WinJa and TigerRay software to let users access legacy mainframe data from any Web browser.


POINT, CLICK, COLLECT. This summer Riverside County's courts began accepting child support payments online at The county is using a system from of Santa Barbara.


HELP'S ON THE WAY. Aurora's Information Technology Services Department shaved its help desk response time to three days from two weeks and has a better grasp of the city's hardware and software after installing Action Request System 4.5 from Remedy Corp. of Mountain View, Calif. The customer management software routes all help desk requests through a database that sends an e-mail or page to a help desk worker.


HMO HELP. The Managed Care Ombudsman's Office launched a Web site to provide information to the 1.5 million state residents in managed care programs. The Information Technology Department built the site, at


IT'S CATCHING. The Health and Social Services Department received $1.8 million from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to build the first computerized communicable disease reporting system. The department requested proposals last month from vendors to design, build and implement the $4 million system.


BYTES FOR MITES. The Public Schools Department started wiring all 30 junior high schools so all classrooms would be connected to a T1 line. The city hired Verizon Communications Inc. of New York to provide all the school wiring and network infrastructure at a cost of $12 million over two years.


NULL AND VOID. Duval County's property appraiser's office hired Software Techniques Inc. of Winter Park to provide a new $2.3 million computer system. But the Jacksonsville City Council, which has authority over county operations, voided the pact on the grounds that that appraiser Ernie Mastroianni had violated the county's purchasing policy.

Mastroianni appealed the council's decision to the state's Revenue Department. The department deferred its decision so Mastroianni could change the contract to meet county standards.


ACADEMY REVIEW. The Technology Authority is sponsoring a Digital Academy for agency personnel to analyze hardware and software issues. Each participating agency submits a project for the group to consider and the members choose one project for review.


FAST MOVER. Hawaii dramatically improved its rating in the 2001 Digital State Survey. The annual survey of IT in the 50 states is conducted by the Center for Digital Government of Sacramento, Calif., in conjunction with the Progress and Freedom Foundation of Washington, D.C., both independent research groups. Last year the Aloha State ranked 49th in the category of electronic commerce. This year Hawaii raced up the digital ladder to 15th place in the category.


CLARIFY, CLARIFY. The Idaho item in the August GCN/State & Local was 'somewhat incorrect,' said Dean Barton, manager for technical services in the Idaho Transportation Department (GCN/State & Local, August, Page 16).

'Although the Transportation Department did award a contract to Choice Solutions LLC, the Overland Park, Kan., company will supply disk-on-chip PCs'which store memory on the same chip as the processor'connected via TCP/IP. None of the PCs will have CD drives or DVD drives. The PCs will run Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 and an IP terminal emulator from DataPoint Corp. of San Antonio.


DISASTERS HAPPEN. The Auditor General's Office found that although the Central Management Services Department has disaster contingency plans for the state's central computer facility, the plans need improvements to assure data processing and network recovery after a disaster.

The department's Communication and Computer Services Bureau conducts a disaster recovery exercise annually.


SECURITIES BLANKETED. Residents can search the Secretary of State's Securities Division database to find information on all the state's registered mortgage loan brokers, investment advisers, franchises, collection agencies and continuing care facilities.


WHOSE SOFTWARE IS IT ANYWAY? The state auditor reported that the Public Health Department did not have adequate written policies to clearly identify software developed in-house.

The department responded that it had written statements that covered specific applications. It also plans to set a policy to identify the software it develops.


LOANSOME SYSTEM. Lenders can file Uniform Commercial Code changes through a new Web site on the Secretary of State's page. UCC financial statements provide the state with information on what borrowers are using for collateral against their loans.
Lenders are charged $5 instead of $15 when they file online at instead of by paper.


MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME PAGE. The three most popular links on the commonwealth's home page, at, all take users to the state's personnel agency, according to an analysis by Debbie Wilson, Web development specialist in the Governor's Office for Technology.

The next three most popular links take users to information about state parks, tourism and education.


HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU. The Health and Hospitals Department installed a videoconferencing system at more than 25 state hospitals. The Viewstation from Polycom Inc. of Milpitas, Calif., uses both a T1 connection and IP to transmit video and data.


NOTEBOOKS FOR ALL. The state wants to outfit every seventh-grade student and teacher with a thin-client notebook PC. The computers would have limited memory and no hard drives or disk drives. Students would use the notebooks mainly to connect to the Internet through a wireless network. Maine released a request for proposals last month for more than 15,000 thin-client computers.




CRABS ONLINE. State agencies now can buy Internet access, Web hosting, and data and telecommunications services from Qwest Communications International Inc. of Denver and WorldCom Inc. Qwest will cover the Baltimore region, and WorldCom will serve Maryland's three other urban areas under the two-year, $4 million award by the Budget and Management Department.


PLEASE MR. POSTMAN. The commonwealth is updating its e-mail system. So far more than 5,600 state employees have been switched to Microsoft Exchange 2000. Massachusetts made the change because the old system, Beyond Mail from Banyan Worldwide of Westborough, lost its support in April.


EMBEZZLEMENT CHARGES. Christine Ann Mullen of Lansing, former director of the Family Independence Agency's Management Services Office, has been charged with one felony count of embezzling more than $20,000.

According to state officials, Mullen gave two brand-new state servers'Dell PowerEdge 6100 PCs'valued at more than $17,700 each to her child's public elementary school.
Mullen entered a plea of innocent. She is free on bond. Mullen faces a possible 10-year prison sentence and a fine upwards of $60,000.


PLUG AND PAY. The Revenue Department issued a $2.5 million contract to Syscom Inc. of Baltimore for a content management system.

The new system will process more than 2.3 million individual tax returns and other documents annually, integrating imaging, data capture and work flow. It will use IBM Content Manager middleware for data management and FormWare information capture software from Captiva Software Corp. of San Diego.


WHO GUARDS THE GUARDS? The Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review recommended that the Mississippi Gaming Review Commission establish several new databases and systems as part of an overhaul of its operations.
The commission needs new systems to track state vehicle use, monitor casino employee work permits, document commission employee training, plan casino inspections and analyze enforcement, the review said.


HOLDEN ON TECHNOLOGY. Gov. Bob Holden met with leaders in information technology, business and academia to lay the groundwork for a state IT plan. Part of the plan includes forming a Missouri mathematics academy to bolster technology education resources for public schools.


KISSING COUSINS. The Justice Department hooked up to the Corrections Department computer system so police can search the parole, probation and incarceration database during investigations. Previously, the two systems did not talk and the police had to make four or five phone calls to get the necessary information.


FOCUS ON SERVICE. The Center for Digital Government of Sacramento, Calif., in conjunction with the Progress and Freedom Foundation of Washington, D.C., ranked Nebraska fifth in using IT to provide social services to the public. One reason for the high ranking is social service automation efforts such as the Nebraska Online Client User System, Gov. Mike Johanns said.


PUTTING THEIR HEADS TOGETHER. Terry Savage, director of the Information Technology Department, formed eight working groups to bring all the executive branch agencies together to discuss IT issues. The topics include security, work force, electronic government, project oversight, electronic-records management, strategic planning, integration and architecture and technical standards.


KEEP ON TRUCKIN'. The Emergency Management Office bought a communications truck equipped with high-end equipment to coordinate disaster efforts more easily and effectively. The vehicle has two 800-MHz Compaq ProLiant servers with 20G RAID drives and four 700-MHz Pentium III IBM ThinkPad notebooks with 128M of RAM, DVD drives and CD-ROM players.


WEATHER OR NOT. The Transportation Department hired Computron Technologies Corp. of Hackensack, to install a $3 million roadway weather surveillance system on the New Jersey Turnpike. Sensors mounted under the roadway and antennas on the side of the turnpike measure wind speed, road temperature and air temperature so the department can alert drivers in bad weather and dispatch road crews to plow snow or spread sand.


FAIR ENOUGH. The New Mexico State Fair rumbled onto the Web this summer like a monster truck rally, at Built by Webstyler of Albuquerque, the site gave New Mexicans advance notice of events like the Eve of Destruction Motorsport Spectacular and Valentine's Performing Pigs.


CHECK THE GOTHAM MAP, ROBIN! New York City's Information Technology and Telecommunications Department digitally mapped the city to allow residents to learn about assessed values of homes, property ownership information and community resources as well as data on parks, curb lines, water bodies and census tracts.

The geographic information system uses MapExtreme Java edition version 2 software from MapInfo Corp. of Troy.


GOING TWICE, SOLD. The Surplus Property Agency is using online auction sites such as eBay Inc. of San Jose, Calif., and Yahoo Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., to sell state surplus as well as items seized in criminal cases. The agency recently used eBay to sell a Cessna T303 twin-engine turboprop plane for $165,100.


EASY READER. The School for the Blind has four PowerBraille 40 refreshable Braille computer displays from Blazie, a division of Freedom Scientific Inc. of Carlsbad, Calif. The pizza-box sized device plugs into a serial port and translates computer screen data into a strip of Braille characters formed by pins, which users can read by touch.


TAXING PROCESS. The Regional Income Tax Agency, a consortium of 86 municipalities and counties, is automating the input of 3 million personal and business income tax returns annually using digital imaging. The agency purchased the Tax and Revenue Capture System from Datacap Inc. of Tarrytown, N.Y., and FileNet Release 3.5 and e-Process software from FileNet Corp. of Costa Mesa, Calif., to handle most of the capturing, storing and routing.


TRAK RECORD. About 100 Oklahoma law enforcement agencies soon will start using the Technology to Recover Abducted Kids system from SocialTech Inc. of Burlingame, Calif., a nonprofit organization. TRAK lets police and other law enforcement officials transmit digital photos of crime suspects, missing children and stolen property in seconds.

The TRAK system uses hardware from Hewlett-Packard Co., including Pentium PCs, color monitors, scanners and color printers. The TRAK software runs under Microsoft Windows 9x.


WHAT'S IN A NAME?. The state will change its domain name to instead of the more traditional The state portal also will have a new look, moving to a more customer-centric focus grouping information by more general topics as opposed to by agency.

The revamped site is scheduled to launch in mid-December.


A TOUCH OF CLASS. Principals, superintendents and school board members are receiving technology training as a part of Gov. Tom Ridge's Technology Leadership Academy. The $4 million program, which receives $1.3 million from the state, brings 100 superintendents, principals and school board members to a four-day retreat to learn computer skills, software and technology management.

Each superintendent received either a Dell Computer Corp. 750-MHz Intel Pentium III notebook or an Apple Computer Inc. 400-MHz G4 Titanium notebook.


PERMANENT RECORD. Residents can now check adult criminal records online with the launch of the state judiciary system's Web site, at The site provides defendant's name, date of birth, case number, case status, arrest information, charge information, attorneys and docket entries.


THE WEB TOLL'S FOR THEE. Residents can contest toll violations on the Cross Island Parkway on Hilton Head Island via a new Transportation Department e-mail address. The department received only 20 e-mails in the first month; the phone remains the preferred contact method, officials said.


BIG GAME. By the end of this month, the Game, Fish and Parks Department will offer hunting licenses online at, said Ken Anderson, director of administration. State employees will develop the site, which will take credit cards using the Secure Sockets Layer protocol.


COURTING IN KURDISH. The Courts Administrative Office provides court forms translated into Arabic, Kurdish, Lao, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese on its Web site, at

The office estimates that the number of circuit court defendants who do not speak English as their primary language has increased by 300 percent since 1990.


Y'ALL GOT MAIL. Houston officials this summer offered free e-mail to the city's 3 million residents. City residents will use a software and e-mail package called SimDesk from Internet Access Technologies of Houston.


HELPING HAND. In an effort to draw high-tech companies to the state's rural regions, the Rural Partnership Office has set up six smart sites. The sites include computer workstations, high-speed Internet access and internal networks. Officials hope companies will take advantage of the pre-existing infrastructure to set up shop and hire residents to do such tasks as software testing, Web site development and database management.


GREEN MOUNTAIN GRANT. The Tourism and Marketing Department set up a Web site that allows would-be visitors to find restaurants, lodging and attractions.

A $4 million Federal Highway Administration grant funded the site, at The state also kicked in $2 million for touch-screen kiosks that will be installed in five of the state's travel information centers and linked to the site.


CASE FILES. The Supreme Court launched a pilot Web site, at, that lists basic information on criminal and civil court cases from 100 cities and counties around the state. The site offers an abstract of each case and includes the hearing date, the case number and the parties.

All the data is stored on an IBM Corp. 2003-124 mainframe that runs the MS-DOS VSE operating system.


HUNGRY HUNGRY HIPAA. The Social and Health Services Department this summer launched a Web site at called 'Ask the HIPAA Hippo,' to answer questions about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Two college interns, Jonathan Kirk and Melissa Mitchell, are fielding e-mail questions about HIPPA and posting answers at the site.


LIVE FROM THE HOOSEGOW. Harrison County's North Central Regional Jail became the latest state corrections facility to install videoconferencing equipment so inmates do not have to be transported to court for arraignments and parole hearings.

The state uses a Vtel Galaxy 202 teleconferencing system running Galaxy software from Vtel Corp. of Austin, Texas.


JUST ADD WATER. The Financial Institutions Department launched UCC InstantFile, which lets users perform Uniform Commercial Code searches via the Internet for free.

Users can also file UCC liens on property other than real estate through the department's Web site, at


HACKERS THWARTED. Nichole Dillon, IT specialist with the Legislative Service Office, pulled up some odd ASCII code one day in early June. 'Where did this come from?' she asked. It turned out to be the Code Red computer worm, a malicious piece of code that attacked more than 9,000 government servers this summer.

The worm planted more than 300 files on the Legislature's Web site, at, and tried to deface the site with offensive language about the U.S. government.

But Dillon caught the code before it could deface the site.


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