National Technology Snapshot

A round-up of information technology

by / December 31, 1998

The state estimates it will need $100 million to fix Y2K problems. Every state agency appointed a Y2K coordinator and is funding any necessary upgrade from its existing budget.


When school started in fall 1997, the Galena City School District had about 160 students and was the 180th largest district in Alaska. This year, the school district is the state's eighth largest, with almost 2,000 students enrolled. There hasn't been a population explosion in Galena; the district has an innovative program that uses the Internet to provide access throughout the state to school resources for parents who are educating their children at home. Newsbytes


Arizona has implemented an online vehicle registration and renewal system, ServiceArizona, that allows citizens to renew their drivers' licenses and registrations electronically.


The U.S. Internet Council announced the formation of the bipartisan Arkansas Internet Caucus in Little Rock. The council is a national educational organization directed by a partnership of computer and telecommunications industry leaders and federal and state public-policy leaders. PRNewswire


The Department of General Services announced that the state is conducting a test of enhanced 911 technology designed to improve emergency response for callers using cellular phones or other wireless communication devices.


The city of Durango announced that its computers and electronic systems will beat the millennium bug by July. While it expects Y2K compliance to cost up to $150,000, it is starting remediation with a $30 software program. The Durango Herald


The Connecticut DMV Commercial Vehicle Safety Unit is using Premier MDT wireless technology, developed by Software Corp. of America, to tighten up truck safety inspections. The system allows officers to capture inspection information on the roadside and store and organize the data in a central repository for future inquiries by other law enforcement agencies.


The Department of Transportation approved Clary Corp.'s uninteruptible power systems for powering traffic signals in the event of a electrical failure. The technology will power the intersections
in flashing modes for up to 10 hours.


The Department of Management Services' State Purchasing Office provides a link between vendors and state purchasers. PurchasingDirect allows state purchasers to look up prices, compare vendors, obtain purchase order information, etc.


Lawmakers are debating state immunity from year-2000 lawsuits. Some lawmakers want to grant state and local government special immunity from lawsuits filed by Georgians harmed by the millennium bug.


To give its police departments timely, accurate and comprehensive information, the state attorney general's office will install EPIC Solutions' mugshot system for criminal justice agencies throughout the big four islands.


Skyline School is the latest Eastern Idaho campus to install video cameras to cut down on campus crimes.


Non-construction state procurement opportunities are available online. Vendors registered with the state can submit bids electronically. The service is free to members of the Business Enterprise Program for minorities, women and the disabled, and is available at a discount to members of a small-business program.


Indianapolis and Marion County created a $12.6 million fund to fix Y2K problems over the next two years. County News


The state Department of Natural Resources is planning to develop an electronic commerce system for environmental permits. Once completed, it will eliminate the burdensome paperwork now standard for the process.


Election officials in Sedgwick County had to reverse some results of an August election after a computer glitch resulted in incorrect vote totals being announced. Sheldon Kamen was proclaimed the winner over Betsy Gwin in the Aug. 4 Republican primary for a county commission seat. The corrected results showed that Gwin had defeated Kamen.


Grove City selected MetaMap for networked enterprise GIS. The software will be used for zoning, building permits and tree inventory.


The Department of Revenue has purchased two document-imaging system Series 9000T scanners from Scan-Optics Inc. to process all taxes and remittances.


Maine's Bureau of Accounts & Control has a new electronic payment system so that contractors and vendors can be paid electronically. The URL for the Direct Deposit Services system is here.


The Montgomery Park Police Unit will use voice-activated computers to file reports, run background checks and look up stolen license plates on computers from patrol cars. The Washington Post


Massachusetts recently mandated that all purchases be done in electronic format, eliminating its paper process. A consortium of states, led by Massachusetts also opened the new vendor mall on Oct 15.


E-The People is a new Web service that lets residents send e-mail messages to any of the participating 140,000 local, state and federal officials in more than 7,000 towns and cities nationwide.


Minnesota schools can stretch their computer purchasing dollars under Intel's donation program, the Minnesota Office of Technology announced. In the K-12 Microprocessor Donation Program, Intel will donate 5,400 microprocessor chips to be installed in Compaq, IBM or Hewlett-Packard computers ordered by schools for their classrooms. The three computer manufacturers have also provided special pricing on the models included in the donation program.


Mississippi is offering a range of online voter resources for its elections, including a sample ballot and voter registration information. Results from the November election are on the Web site.


The state Department of Economic Development provided $131,000 to the city of Canton to improve its telecommunications industry, economic development and job creation.


The Montana Budget Analysis and Reporting System (MBARS) went fully operational Aug. 13. This is MT PRRIME's first module release. While MBARS has been available for Executive Planning Process and capital projects usage since spring, the new version included the functionality required for agencies to create budget requests to submit to the Office of Budget and Program Planning. Agencies can now enter data and narrative text to build their budget, manipulate the data as needed, and then submit the budget to the budget office. No file transfers or retyping are needed.


The Nebraska Job Bank is a free online service provided by the Nebraska Department of Labor. The site allows Nebraska employers who need to fill job openings to post jobs, salaries and other information. Job seekers may create an electronic r