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A little help. Dallas County, Texas, has outsourced all of its IT services to SchlumbergerSema of New York. Under a five-year, $40 million contract, the New York unit of Schlumberger Ltd. will support the county's IT infrastructure, including mainframe, telecommunications, help desk, security and network services.

About 60 SchlumbergerSema employees will work at county facilities at any time, said Chris Campbell, director of SchlumbergerSema's public-sector division.

Dallas County runs courthouses, tax offices, jails and other services in about 70 buildings, CIO John Hennessey said. Its IT infrastructure includes 4,000 PCs, plus midrange machines, Novell networks, IBM Systems Network Architecture mainframes and almost 1,000 green-screen terminals.

Superstore. Georgia's state portal, at www.georgia.gov, will integrate multiple legacy systems into a one-stop government shop.

'Our constituents don't differentiate well between federal, state and local government,' said Gina Tiedemann, director of GeorgiaNet, a division of the Georgia Technology Authority. 'They just want to access government. So we want to build a portal that will enable that.'

WebMethods Inc. of Fairfax, Va., received a 10-year contract, worth about $2.8 million, for a perpetual-use license of its business integration software.

As an example of its multigovernment dimension, the portal lets companies apply online for a federal employer identification number. The information is submitted to the IRS as well as the Georgia Revenue Department.

Budget strain. States are still spending money on IT programs despite looming 2003 budget deficits and an economic slowdown, according to a report released last month by Input of Chantilly, Va.

According to the National Association of State Budget Officers, the aggregate budget shortfall among states is about $50 billion. But programs related to homeland security, health care and education stand the best chance of dodging the budget ax, according to Input's report.

The report detailed how three states'Virginia, New Jersey and California'are dealing with the budget crunch. Some states are streamlining IT efforts to save money. Virginia Gov. Mark Warner proposed eliminating three IT state agencies and two government oversight boards and consolidating them into a single new agency, the Virginia Information Technologies Agency.

Facing a $1.5 billion shortfall in the state budget this year, Virginia officials have nevertheless approved funding for an incident management system to connect first responders to state agencies.

New Jersey has committed $66 million to new security programs and the state's Office of Counter-Terrorism.

California is building a new Office of Homeland Security and will implement a child support enforcement system.

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