Sparse feedback has NASIRE rethinking survey

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The national agency representing state chief information officers has released

a State Information Technology Organization Structures report on budgets,

but low state participation has the National Association of State Information

Resource Executives considering other avenues of conducting future surveys.

Previously issued every other year, the report comprises four sections:

budgets, governance, policy and human resources. After the 1996 report was

issued, NASIRE decided to break the survey into parts and issue them quarterly

beginning in 1999. However, because of Year 2000 planning, the surveys were

not conducted until last year, and response was low: Only 27 states participated.

With such a poor response, NASIRE did not provide trends or conclusions

because they would have been misleading.

George Boersma, chair of the NASIRE Research and Publication Committee,

which conducts the surveys, said the organization is investigating a variety

of ways to increase the response rate.

"The states just don't have the time, effort and resources to respond

to the enormous amount of surveys we get," said Boersma, who is also Michigan's

CIO. The organization is "very closely" looking at the possibility of conducting

surveys online, especially for information that is generally static, such

as budget data. CIOs could also access information online.

The report is still beneficial for CIOs because it shows them how other

states have allocated money. Copies are available for $20.

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