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

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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]





LIQUOR CABINET INVENTORY. Officials at the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board have released a request for proposals for a new enterprise financial and purchasing system, which will integrate an existing inventory supply subsystem. The board aims to replace its 24-year-old system that was developed by state workers.


NOT LOST IN FOG. 'Rudolph, with your GPS so right, won't you guide ... ?' Santa may sing a new tune at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Biologists from the Alaska Fish and Game Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tagged six caribou with Global Positioning System data collectors from Telonics of Mesa, Ariz.


SNOOP DU JOUR. Government agencies can now buy employee Internet management software through an agreement with Websense Inc. of San Diego. Agencies have ordered more than $1 million worth of filtering software. Websense helps limit workers' use of 'inappropriate or time-wasting Internet material in the workplace,' company officials said.


NO SALE. Under the advice of Arkansas CIO Randall Bradford, the State Procurement Office suspended all sales of surplus data storage equipment as of Oct. 30. This includes hard drives, Iomega Zip drives and CPUs capable of storing data. 'Some state surplus computer data storage equipment was sold before being properly prepared, including removal of data,' said Dick Barclay, chief fiscal officer and director of the Finance and Administration Department. The action will give the state time to refine its security procedures for storage devices.


SHARE ALIKE. The Sonoma County Law Enforcement Consortium awarded a $7.2 million contract to Intergraph Public Safety Inc. for a computer-aided dispatch system. The Huntsville, Ala., company will furnish a system that will integrate data management across several agencies and jurisdictions, including Sonoma County Sheriff's Department and the cities of Cloverdale, Petaluma and Santa Rosa.


FAST AND FASTER. The city of Lafayette upgraded its wireless network from Soloctek Corp.'s MP550 series of bridges and routers that operate at 5.5-Mbps to the San Diego company's SkyWay-Net units that run at 11 Mbps. The network supports voice, data and voice over IP.


ON THEIR TRAIL. The Policy and Management Office, the Justice Branch and the IT Department cooperated to hire Sierra Systems Group Inc. of Vancouver, British Columbia, to develop a criminal offender database. The two-year, $10 million project will combine offender information from several databases in the law enforcement, court, parole and corrections departments.


TAXING INFORMATION. The Treasury Department and the Technology and Information Department worked together to put all federal and state tax forms, business tax forms and other tax information online.

The site evolved out of the state portal project and became a one-stop shop for tax information, said Mark Headd, deputy director for the Technology and Information Department. IT workers created and now manage the site using content management software from Eprise Corp. of Framingham, Mass.


AGENCY ADOPTION. The Technology Office established an Adopt an Agency program in which companies donate personnel and time to help the city complete 26 unfunded mission-critical IT projects. Assistance, which chief technology officer Suzanne Peck estimates to be worth $4.5 million, has come from 10 companies, including IBM Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc.


ALL ABOUT THE RATINGS. The Health Care Administration Agency ranked all 680 state nursing homes based on their history of violations over the last 45 months as a part of a new nursing home Web guide. The site lets users search the guide by city, county or specialties, such as a Spanish-speaking staff or treating only Alzheimer's patients.


BRIDGING THE DIVIDE. The City of La Grange offers free digital Internet access to residents through a public-private partnership with Charter Communications Inc. of St. Louis. More than 4,500 homes signed up to receive the e-mail and Web access. Each home is equipped with a digital set-top box from Motorola Inc. and a wireless infrared keyboard from WorldGate Communications Inc. of Trevose, Pa.


TOP BANANA. Honolulu was ranked No. 1 in the Digital Cities Survey, the first study of city governments and digital technology conducted by the Center for Digital Government of Sacramento, Calif., a research group. Honolulu won out over 300 city governments. City officials garnered praise for their frequent use of e-mail to communicate with constituents.


DON'T CALL US. The Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit won an award from the Conference of Western Attorneys General for its online no-call list. Idahoans visit the state Web site, at, to register. Telemarketers must refrain from calling anyone on the list.


BROKEN RECORDS? The State Library received a $246,000 grant from the federal Museum and Library Services Institute to develop a plan for monitoring and evaluating changes made to electronically published state government documents and ensure permanent public access to them.


BUYING ONLINE. The Administration Department is evaluating 14 bids for a procurement system that will let state agencies place orders electronically from vendor catalogs. It released a request for proposals in August.


COURT IP. The Iowa Judicial Branch plans to give the public access to parts of the Iowa Court Information System via the Web. The system already links the three levels of state courts as well as court clerks' offices in Iowa's 99 counties. Some information, such as case titles, fine data and child-support payment records, will be provided free, but a subscription for court scheduling and judgment information will cost $25 per month.


SCHOOL TOOLS. The Coast Guard's Human Resources Service and Information Center in Topeka donated 244 desktop PCs to the Kansas Education Department. The PCs were Unisys Aquanta models with 166-MHz Pentium processors and 8M of RAM. The donation included keyboards, cables and peripherals.


SKILLS AHOY. About 550 Kentucky high school and college teachers will benefit from a $4 million computer training program to be operated by the Kentucky IT Center at Jefferson Community College-Southwest in Lexington. The center received $2 million in National Science Foundation funding and the rest from state sources.


GRUB WITH THE GOV. Four people each paid $1,025 for dinner with Gov. M.J. 'Mike' Foster Jr., after bidding for the privilege on the eBay Internet auction site. Foster donated the events as part of an Auction for America, an international promotion to raise $100 million in 100 days for the victims and families affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.


FILE NO MORE. The Transportation Department is converting more than 500 filing cabinets full of historical contract documents to electronic images. The agency hired Raytheon Co. to provide the $1 million imaging system to more than 1,100 DOT employees.MARYLAND

MIND POWER. Employees in the General Services Department connect to each other via a new agencywide intranet. Technology workers used knowledge management software, TheBrainEKP, from TheBrain Technologies Corp. of Santa Monica, Calif., to create the intranet pages for 14 working groups.


SECOND SCHOOL INSTALLMENT. Boston Public School System officials have received the go-ahead from the School Committee to implement part two of the Learning and Information Network for the Community program. The $123 million project will build on the first five-year program, which set up a systemwide network, bought hardware and software and upgraded the electricity in schools.


ZERO FOR CONDUCT. The Michigan Attorney General charged two high school students with unauthorized intrusion on a computer or computer network for allegedly running a password-cracking program on the computer of Richmond High School. Justin Michael Sabon of Casco and a 16-year-old from Richmond whose name officials withheld face maximum penalties of up to five years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.


LEAVE THE LIGHTS ON. A traffic control system that operates 430 freeway ramp signals in the Twin Cities area brings significant benefits, the Transportation Department found when it deactivated the signals to conduct a six-week study mandated by the Legislature. Turning off the ramp meters increased freeway travel times 22 percent, reduced freeway volume nine percent, shaved freeway speeds seven percent and increased crashes 26 percent, the department found.


DATA CENTER MAKEOVER. The IT Services Department and the Finance and Administration Department started a renovation project at the state's data center that will run through next summer. The agencies will install a consolidated network monitoring center and overhaul the center's physical plant. Downtime caused by the project will affect the state network, including the Internet, the center's mainframe and the state portal.


ONE CITIZEN, ONE VOTE. Officials from the Secretary of State's office joined local elections officials and others at the Accessible Voting Technology Exposition held recently at Brentwood near St. Louis. They inspected systems that allow secret balloting for blind people, people in wheelchairs and other eligible voters who have difficulty using standard voting equipment.


COOL RENEWAL. The Labor and Industry Department last month began accepting license renewals for nurses and real estate professionals over the state Web site at Visitors to the site enter their professional license number, Social Security number and an assigned personal identification number. Protected by Secure Sockets Layer protocol, the site requires applicants to enter credit card or checking account information.


TOOL TIME. Lt. Gov. Dave Heineman, chairman of the Nebraska IT Commission, and L. Dennis Smith, president of the University of Nebraska, last month announced the development of the Community IT Toolkit, which Heineman described as resources that show communities how IT can help boost their economies. Communities can download the toolkit for free at


RELY ON ELY. The IT Department issued a request for information for the second phase of a statewide wireless digital voice, video and data network that will replace a 25-year-old analog communications system. The first phase extended the digital network from Reno to Carson City and Las Vegas. The next phase will provide digital connectivity between Las Vegas and Ely, along the eastern side of the state.


SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK. The Franklin school system received $120,000 from the city council to implement part five of its systemwide technology plan. Officials plan to build two additional student computer labs and create a database for the city's four school libraries.


MAP READING. Officials in the IT Office created a new Geographic Information Council to help agencies and the private sector better use geographic information systems. State CIO Wendy Rayner will chair the council, which includes leaders of local businesses and nonprofit organizations as well as agency personnel.


DOWNGRADED. The Education Department had to revise its ratings of 29 public schools because of a programming error. As a result, Mission Avenue Elementary School in Albuquerque was demoted in the school rankings from 'meets standards' to 'probationary,' which school officials described as 'a blow.' The department had corrected the ratings using Statistical Package for Social Sciences software from SPSS Inc. of Chicago, said spokeswoman Ruth Williams.


RESERVE ME A SPOT. The Tourism Division worked with the New York State Hospitality and Tourism Association to launch an online reservation and information system for tourists. The site, at, puts city visitors in touch with more than 500 hotels where they can make reservations. Participating hotels connect through a private extranet to update their availability and contact information.


RED LIGHT. As a statewide budget shortfall continues to shrink most agencies, the IT Office faces two kinds of cutbacks. Not only did the Legislature forbid the office from raising the fees for services it provides to other departments, but the office also likely will be forced to slow or stop several projects because of insufficient funds, a senior state IT official said.


BIG JUMP. North Dakota jumped 30 places in the Digital State survey of technology progress conducted by two research groups, the Center for Digital Government of Sacramento, Calif., in conjunction with the Progress and Freedom Foundation of Washington, D.C. North Dakota scored points for its elected officials' use of e-mail, its use of electronic systems in the voting process, and its real-time broadcast of legislative sessions over the state's Web site.


NO MORE REVISIONS. The Emergency Management Services division launched four new education-related services online for EMS technicians, firefighters and residents. Rescue service workers and residents can find accredited training facilities or continuing education sites by county, city, school name or ZIP code, check the EMS exam schedule, verify certification files and update personal records.

Technology workers created the site with Microsoft's Active Server Pages 3.0. Data is stored in an Oracle8i database.


SHOCKED IN CHOCTAW. Visitors to the city of Choctaw Web site at got an eyeful last month. Gone were the listings of municipal services and contact numbers. Someone had hijacked the site and routed it to, which posted photos of a partially clad woman.


VIDEO VISION. Oregon's Data and Video Services Division deployed a statewide videoconferencing network using products from Radvision Inc. of Mahwah, N.J. The network will use the videoconferencing tools viaIP and OnLAN to link Oregon University, community colleges, kindergarten through Grade 12 schools, the Corrections Department and other state agencies. The state provides videoconferencing to 125 IP video sites across its data network.


THE RIGHT DIRECTION. Residents now can apply for social services online after three agencies launched the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Application for Social Services (COMPASS) Web site. The site now offers applications for medical assistance and child health insurance. Officials expect to add applications for food stamps, cash assistance, long-term care and other benefits early next year.


GOOD TO GO. The Children, Youth and Families Department's child welfare and family service computer system received the OK from certifiers that it meets federal standards. The state hired American Management Systems Inc. of Fairfax, Va., to build the $12.5 million system. AMS developed the front end in PowerBuilder from Sybase Inc. of Emeryville, Calif., and data is stored in a Sybase database management system.


GETTING PAID. Revenue Department officials have adopted an approach used in other states to shame delinquent taxpayers by listing them on a Debtor's Corner Web site. The site lists the person's name, address and amount owed. Through Oct. 26, the state collected more than $680,000 and put many other late taxpayers on payment plans.


HUB OF E-STUB. Employees who don't request a paper pay stub can get an 'e-stub' from the state's payroll system five days before payday. Workers have long been able to view their paycheck details on the state's self-service Web site, at


CLICK ON THIS, OSAMA. The Health Department posted a bioterrorism property receipt form on its Web site at The document, for use by local officials forwarding suspect material to the department's laboratory, provides spaces for a description of an incident and the chain of custody of evidence.


ALL STARS. The Human Services Department launched the State of Texas Assistance and Referral System, which offers an online guide to eligibility for state assistance programs. Visitors to can see if they are eligible for any of 50 types of assistance programs, including subsidized housing, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and food stamps.


GIS FOR THE MASSES. Utah's Geographic Information Council, the Automated Geographic Reference Center, Board of Education, GIS Advisory Council, and the Granite and Davis school districts joined forces to celebrate GIS Day 2001 last month. The conference was held in Sandy at the Larry H. Miller Entrepreneurship Training Center.

Utah officials described it as a grassroots event to 'showcase real-world applications of this important technology.'


CUSTOMER DEMAND. State officials responded to residents' requests for additional online services by hiring Anexsys LLC of Chicago to redesign and upgrade the state's Web site. CIO Patricia Urban said the upgrade would start by providing Internet income tax filing online by next month.


MAKING THE SWITCH. The city of Suffolk hired Michael Baker Jr. Inc. of Pittsburgh to digitize existing aerial photographs, contour data, parcel maps and other paper maps. Under the $2 million contract, the company also will create new geographic information systems data, officials said.

The city will view the information using ArcInfo 8.1 from Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif., and all information will be merged into a database.


SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE. Behind schedule and over budget, King County's troubled client-server Financial Systems Replacement Program was put on hold last year. But the county still needed a system to pay its workers and bills. For more than a year the county has been using a combination of 20-year-old mainframes and software. County officials also salvaged the part of the abandoned client-server system that was developed using products from PeopleSoft Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif.


NO MORE SHORTHAND. The state legislature established a new family court system to handle domestic cases but officials did not want to hire court reporters, so they are testing a digital video system. The Digital Recording System from Jefferson Audio Video Systems Inc. of Louisville, Ky., includes a PC running Microsoft Windows 98 with an audio-video capture card and Autolog 5.0, a program that creates a video listing as a log in HTML.


LAGGING LIBRARIES. Gov. Scott McCallum announced a commitment of $500,000 in grants from the Technology for Educational Achievement (TEACH) program to about 75 Wisconsin public libraries that do not have high-speed Internet access.

In addition to the TEACH grants of up to $6,000 for wiring and equipment, the Public Instruction Department will provide grants to pay for the first year of data line fees.


LARAMIE MEMORY. The Laramie Police Department bought 35 Dell OptiPlex 4300 PCs running Microsoft Windows 2000, said information systems specialist Rodney Weakly. The department also plans to put notebook PCs in its police cars next year. n


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