Policy briefs

Deloitte: Tech cuts costs

Technology doesn't just cost money — it can also save money, according to a Deloitte Consulting study. Most public-sector chief information officers expect to see cuts in technology spending because of severe budget woes, but they also say technology can ease financial crunches, according to the July 14 report.

Of the 40 state, local and federal government CIOs surveyed, 87 percent said their technology budgets will be reduced, but 93 percent said technology is important in addressing budget challenges. Continued demands for better service and new programs, such as homeland security, are forcing government agencies to work together and integrate technology, said Greg Pellegrino, global industry leader for Deloitte's public-sector practice.

States to test info sharing

The Transportation Department is testing two systems to improve electronic communication among public safety and state transportation agencies.

Working with state governments in Utah and Washington, DOT will conduct two-year tests of intelligent transportation systems for emergency services. In Salt Lake City, the $1.25 million project — federal funding provides 80 percent of that — will link transportation management systems from the Utah Transportation Department and computer-aided dispatch systems from the state's Department of Public Safety. A smaller federal grant to Washington — 64 percent of a $462,194 program — will help pay for its effort to tie the Washington State Patrol's dispatch system into the state transportation department's Internet-based system for sharing information on accidents, weather conditions, traffic and other road situations. Officials expect to complete the Utah and Washington projects in 2005. n

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