NASIRE awards state IT programs

Washington received three awards--more than any other state--from the National Association of State Information Resource Executives (NASIRE) in its annual honors for information technology projects that improve state government operations.

Washington won the administrative applications award for its data warehouse system, which allows easy access to human resource data for state agencies. The state also took a networking award for its K-20 network, which gives all schools in the state access to digital learning tools such as the Internet. Finally, Access Washington, the state's World Wide Web site, won the service applications category.

Arizona and Texas also fared well in the NASIRE program, with both states receiving two awards.

ServiceArizona, the nation's first multichannel electronic service delivery system for motor vehicle transactions, won the electronic commerce prize. And the state's Information Technology Investment project won in a category recognizing statewide initiatives for policy, planning and management. The investment project was designed to improve methods for justifying the selection and deployment of IT throughout the state.

Meanwhile, Texas' Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Detection System (MFADS) tied with Indiana's Geographic Information System Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program in the category of innovative use of technology. MFADS uses neural networks to streamline the detection of fraud and abuse by Medicaid providers and recipients. Indiana's winner supports the state health department's analysis of lead program data correlated to community infrastructures and various demographics.

The Lone Star state also tied Washington for the networking award for its Health and Human Services Consolidated Network, a centrally managed wide-area network that NASIRE said maximized service quality while reducing expenses through a cost-recovery system.

Utah took the intergovernmental applications award for its Mobile Data Collection System/Cellular Digital Packet Data program, which put laptop computers in state and local law enforcement vehicles.

Two new categories debuted this year: IT personnel recruitment and retention, and public/private partnerships. Kansas won the personnel award for its IT Retention and Recruitment program, a project that includes bonuses, repayment provisions, advanced training, telecommuting and other features.

The Kentucky Information Highway, an integrated communications backbone built through partnerships with a consortium of communications companies, landed the partnership award.

The awards will be presented at NASIRE's annual conference in October in Indianapolis.

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