Creative funding

NASCIO

As states face funding challenges, chief information officers are looking for new ways to pay for information technology projects across their governments.

To help share best practices, the National Association of Chief Information Officers this month released a draft report containing case studies of how some states have secured funding.

"This paper is not intended to be a how-to guide," said Mike Langehr, former Maryland CIO and currently government services vice president for Crestone International Inc. But he said it is intended to help CIOs make fewer false starts when trying to fund projects.

NASCIO's Corporate Leadership Council, at the request of the association's president, Gerry Wethington, spearheaded the report titled "Trends and New Approaches in Funding Technology." The council surveyed state governments and received 23 responses.

"Never before have governmental agencies pursued the degree of collaboration that exists today," the paper states. It contains five case studies from Minnesota, Ohio, Texas, Tennessee and Massachusetts. Representatives from the latter four states outlined their approaches during NASCIO's annual conference, held this week in Scottsdale, Ariz.

For instance, Carolyn Purcell, who recently retired as CIO for Texas, said her state partnered with BearingPoint Inc. to build a Web portal at no cost to the state. Texas and the company share revenues generated from the fees.

Richard Rognehaugh, Tennessee's CIO, said, "The projects we look to support have already gone through a rigorous cost/benefit analysis." He said he hopes the fund will grow from the current $45 million to about $60 million to $75 million in the next few years. n

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