NASIRE brimming with ideas

With more than 400 representatives from government and industry circulating

at the National Association of State Information Resource Executives' annual

conference, news and ideas were swirling too.

Almost 160 information technology executives and staff members representing

42 states attended the conference, held Sunday through Wednesday in Baltimore.

The host state, Maryland, had the largest contingent of attendees — 28;

Kentucky followed with 11.

Among the news that surfaced at the meeting:

* NASIRE is scouting out a beachhead in Washington, D.C. President Otto

Doll, South Dakota's chief information officer, announced Tuesday that the

organization is recruiting a part-time representative to serve as an "early-warning

radar" for issues that come up in Congress and the federal government. A

decision on whether to hire a consulting firm or an individual who is well-versed

in IT has not been made yet, Doll said.

* Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge's policy office tapped Rhett Hintze of

the state's Office of Information Technology to be senior policy manager

for technology and economic development on Monday. Hintze moves up after

serving as principal assistant to OIT head Charles Gerhards.

* Hintze made a presentation of Pennsylvania's 6-month-old Web-based

application platform and content management system. Steve Kolodney, director

of Washington's Department of Information Services, was so impressed that

he wants to send a team to see it first hand. It's proof that although Kolodney's

office is often cited by surveys and award programs for progressive implementation

of e-government services, the department still searches out best practices

in other states.

* Edward Fouhy, executive director of the Pew Center on the States and

a former CBS newsman, told the NASIRE audience that moving the functions

of government onto the Internet to make government more accessible to citizens

is a watershed story that has been missed for the most part by journalists.

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