State lines

Island biometrics. Hawaii's Human Services Department this week installed 10 digital fingerprint systems as part of an initiative to increase the speed and accuracy of background checks for child and foster care providers working in the state.

Sagem Morpho Inc. of Tacoma, Wash., installed its MorphoCheck 100 live-scan systems in Human Services offices on each Hawaiian island.

'Employee background checks are one of our highest priorities in ensuring the security and safety of our children in child care placements and foster children,' Human Services director Susan Chandler said in a statement.

Previously, the state mailed fingerprint cards to the FBI for background checks; the process took six weeks.

The turnaround time now is 48 hours. After collecting the digital images, the office transmits the prints to the bureau where they can be checked against the FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System.

Bad report. Oregon's Juvenile Justice Information System lacks key data, and the Oregon Youth Authority has not properly controlled access to the system, said Bill Bradbury, Oregon secretary of State.

State auditors also found that the Youth Authority had not properly separated the process for implementing changes to the system from design and development plans.

The auditors recommended that the authority ensure that employees:
  • Enter complete data into the system

  • Improve processes for recording and correcting data

  • Modify system access methods

  • Appoint an official to oversee security and improve system change practices.

Youth Authority officials generally agreed with the audit findings and pledged to implement the recommended changes.

Getting by with a little help. The city of Falls Church, Va., has had trouble hiring and retaining IT staff. The city's network was 'antiquated, outdated and falling apart around us,' said Shirley Hughes, general manager and chief financial officer for Falls Church's administrative services division.

City officials decided to outsource all IT work to Reliable Integration Services Inc. of Dunn Loring, Va. The company remotely manages the city's Microsoft Windows NT network, including applications used by the city's police, fire, public works staff and 'everything,' Hughes said.

For about six months, citizens have been submitting problems, comments, questions and complaints through the City of Falls Church Liaison Action and Suggestion system on the city's Web site, www.ci.falls-church.va.us. CLASS sends an automatic e-mail reply to each inquiry and assigns a tracking number, Hughes said, and 'ensures we are being responsive to the people we serve.'

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