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BUILD IT. The Utah Transportation Department has implemented digital plot management, which lets its engineers create digital construction plans for access by outside contractors.

'The UDOT electronic plan room allows contractors to save time by getting instant access to plans when they are first made available and when changes occur,' said Greg Herrington, UDOT electronic plan room project manager.

UDOT installed a collaboration server for plot management from Bentley Systems Inc. of Exton, Pa., which is expected to cut UDOT printing, packaging and mailing costs by an estimated $192,000 annually.

The electronic plan room will also allow the state to complete construction projects more quickly by reducing the time it takes to revise plans.

DATA AND FRAUD. Faulty databases at the Florida Legal Affairs Department's Medicaid Fraud Unit have denied the state millions of dollars from fraud loss recovery, state auditors reported.

The fraud unit investigates and prosecutes corruption in Florida's Medicaid program. The unit looked at 664 cases between July 2001 and January 2003, about a quarter of which led to convictions or settlements totaling $24.7 million, according to a report from the office of auditor general William O. Monroe.

The auditors found that 'department data systems were not complete and accurate, inhibiting computation and reporting of overpayments and costs associated with investigation and prosecution,' their report said.

The fraud unit uses three separate databases to track cases, employee time and case expenses associated with Medicaid abuse.

An audit of 60 cases found that 28 of them, or 47 percent, were not properly recorded by the case-tracking database. Additional database errors led to a $2.4 million understatement of restitution due to the state.

NO EYE FOR DETAIL. The Tampa, Fla., Police Department will not renew its contract for facial recognition software with Identix Inc.

The Tampa police deployed FaceIT software in July 2001 on 36 security cameras stationed at strategic locations throughout the Ybor City entertainment district. The initial contract was valued at $30,000.

Though the software proved reliable in testing, the Tampa police said they were unable to make any positive identifications or arrests as a result of its use.

The American Civil Liberties Union vigorously opposed its deployment from the outset, arguing that the system was prone to false matches.

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