• E-awards. Illinois and Kansas shared top honors in the Digital State 2001 survey conducted by the Progress and Freedom Foundation and the Center for Digital Government.

    To commemorate the achievement, Illinois Gov. George H. Ryan issued the first-ever gubernatorial administrative order bearing a digital signature, ordering his cabinet members to promote technology by focusing on accessibility, privacy, security, compatibility and public-key infrastructure.

    Kent Lassman, research fellow for the foundation, said Illinois had deployed more than 1,500 digital services across seven state agencies, 65 municipalities and six colleges and universities.

    In honoring Kansas, the foundation cited the State Board of Nursing's online license renewal system, at, as a best practice. 'In addition to around-the-clock service, the online system is three to five times faster than traditional licensing and includes instant confirmation of the renewal,' the foundation said in its report.

    Former Kansas CIO Don Heiman, who just retired, said, 'This award holds special significance for our state because it was achieved at a time of constrained budgets.'

  • Outage. A systems problem forced computers that issue driver's licenses and vehicle registrations throughout Massachusetts to go offline for nearly three hours last month.

    A coding error in the mainframe that runs applications for the state Registry of Motor Vehicles shut down the system, Massachusetts CIO David Lewis said. Technicians at a systems hub in the Boston suburb of Chelsea replaced a part and reloaded the code to restart the system.

    'The RMV has one integrated database for all its applications,' Lewis said, 'thus, once a problem occurs, it affects everything.'

    RMV spokesman David Shaw said the problem began around 1 p.m.; the system came back online around 3:50 p.m. The agency processed more than 3,000 fewer license applications the day of the shutdown than it usually does on Fridays, Shaw said.

  • Integration. Nevada County, Calif., this month will begin using routing software to link its Web pages to the county's databases, as part of its Citizen Relationship Management initiative.

    The county will use E-work software from Metastorm of Severna Park, Md., with existing databases to route citizens' questions or complaints directly to its 30 departments.

    'Right now we've built three prototypes we're just starting to roll out,' said Steve Monaghan, Nevada County's CIO. 'Every county employee will use this system.'

    Eventually, users will conduct all county business online, including registering cars and pets, paying taxes and, in the case of county employees, filling out time sheets.

  • Opportunity. The Community Access Program, at, provides local hospitals with advanced data sharing systems to improve care of uninsured and underinsured patients.

    'Wilson P. Dizard III, Matt McLaughlin, Dipka Bhambhani and Susan M. Menke
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