State Lines

Wall Street favorite. At a recent New York conference sponsored by the IT Association of America, industry representatives discussed the future of IT spending by state and local governments.

State budget constraints don't necessarily mean that states won't spend money on IT, said Ron Salluzzo, senior vice president of KPMG Consulting Inc. of McLean, Va. Connecticut CIO Rock Regan, for example, said his budget will be increasing, because his governor "knows that IT ultimately saves money."

IT companies with predominately state and local government clients have typically expected 10 percent growth rates, said Tom Meagher, a vice president with BB&T Capital Markets of Winston-Salem, N.C. "Two years ago, nobody cared about these companies. Now 10 percent looks pretty attractive."

"Government IT used to be the stepchild of the industry," said ITAA president Harris Miller. "Now it's the darling of Wall Street."

Here comes the Sun. Georgia is moving forward with a new enterprise portal that uses Web architecture to integrate information from different information systems across the state.

The Georgia Technology Authority recently hired Sun Microsystems Inc. to provide portal software and integration services for $7.3 million.

The portal will let residents renew their driver's licenses online or by phone, take written driver's tests, renew automobile tags and conduct other transactions.

Eventually, the portal will integrate information from state, local and not-for-profit caseworkers. They will share data among themselves seamlessly.

Wrong turn. Visitors to the Web site of a municipal police department in central Massachusetts were automatically redirected to a pornography site for a brief time earlier this month.

Users attempting to log on to www.gardnerpolice.org, the site of the Gardner, Mass., police department, were sent to "Tina's Free Live Cam," according to Rock A. Barrieau, Gardner deputy police chief. Barrieau said he asked the domain name's current owner to stop the redirection.

Gardner police apparently lost their rights to the domain name in a billing snafu. After tracking down the new owner, Domain Strategies Inc. of Quebec, Barrieau said he spoke to a company official and "appealed to his sense of decency."

The company stopped the redirection, and visitors to www.gardnerpolice.org were sent to a placeholder page. Police content was expected to be restored within a week.

Opportunity. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, at www.cfda.gov, has a listing of administrative management improvement programs that are open to state and local governments.

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