States win awards for IT innovation

States win awards for IT innovation

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers this month announced the winners of its 14th annual awards for outstanding achievement. Profiles of the winning projects appear at www.nascio.org.

This year, the association was scheduled to announce the awards at the NASCIO 2001 annual conference in New Orleans, but the conference was cancelled because of travel restrictions after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon. The winners:

California’s CAL-Buy program won for best digital government project. California’s General Services Department’s Procurement Division took the state’s first online procurement system live March 7. In the first eight weeks, state agencies bought almost $1.5 million worth of products at www.pd.dgs.ca.gov.

Idaho was no small potatoes in IT training, winning for professional retention and recruitment with a Web program that combines IT training resources from state agencies, universities and vendors. Any state employee can access it at ittp.state.id.us.

Kentucky’s Advanced Regional Traffic Interactive Management and Information System (ARTIMIS) project won the communications infrastructure category. The project is part of the Intelligent Transportation System that manages traffic in the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Region. ARTIMIS transmits travel data through a complex of roadway sensors over a fiber-optic network. Travelers can get information through a Web site, www.artimis.org, and also by telephone.

Michigan received the award for most innovative use of technology for its Field Audit Research, Selection, Tracking and Reporting project, which lets state tax auditors and administrative staff audit business taxpayers electronically.

New Mexico developed an electronic child support system that won NASCIO’s service applications category. Through a contract with Accenture LLP of Chicago, the state developed a secure Web site, at childsupport.hsd.state.mn.us, where parents and employers exchange child support information.
In the accessibility category, North Carolina won for its NC Classes Online program. Teachers learned to create their own Web sites using Yahoo Inc.’s PageWizard tool. The resulting pages are accessible through the state’s Web portal, at www.ncgov.com.

Pennsylvania won in the information architecture category for its PA Commonwealth Connect program, the brainchild of Gov. Tom Ridge. The program saved state agencies $9.2 million in software costs over three years by standardizing on Microsoft Corp. desktop applications and e-mail software.

As always, it never pays to mess with Texas. The Lone Star State won special recognition for the System for Electronic Rate and Form Filing, a secure Lotus Notes platform that lets insurance companies submit forms to state agencies.

Virginia’s Taxation Department scored kudos in the public-private partnership category. The department contracted with American Management Systems Inc. of Arlington, Va., to re-engineer business processes and replace aging systems.

Washington, for years unofficially nicknamed “The Digital State,” won the planning and management initiatives award for—no surprise—the Washington State Digital Government Plan. With more than 300 state Internet applications, Washington officials called building digital government a core competency of the state, not an outside endeavor.

West Virginia received special recognition for the Digital Divide Bridging Blocks program, a statewide educational technology program. Thanks in part to the program, 100 percent of West Virginia schools have Internet access.

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