Despite a threatening hurricane, this year's NASCIO conference took place as scheduled in New Orleans, La. Tom Jarrett (Del.), took over the NASCIO reins when members elected him president, Matt Miszewski (Wis.) vice president and Val Oveson (Utah) secretary/treasurer for the 2004-2005 program year. Jarrett replaces Gerry Wethington (Mo.).

Author and consultant David Osborne delivered the keynote address on the permanent fiscal crisis in state government and what CIOs can do to turn adversity into opportunity. Several visiting CIOs from Japan's prefectures provided a glimpse of e-government Japanese-style, while current and former state CIOs debated advantages and disadvantages of open source software. Other sessions covered economic development, homeland security, governance, emerging technologies and privacy issues.

NASCIO closed its annual get-together by acknowledging winners of its recognition awards, which were handed out to six states for outstanding achievement in the field of public-sector IT. Winners included the District of Columbia, Michigan (twice), Missouri, New York, Tennessee and Virginia (twice).

Next year's conference will take place in San Diego, Calif.