services, along with a host of other transactions to benefit the public.

In addition, he wants to see North Carolinas employee portal creating greater efficiencies internally. "Right now, there are so many forms throughout state government," he said. "We have 45 different forms for travel expenses that have to be done manually. The state should have one standard form for use in every department that can be completed online."

Accompanying the benefits of e-government are policy issues and technology changes that didnt exist in the paper-based age. "As we deploy technology at a rapid speed, there are two high priorities: security and privacy. We have a lot of information about people and we need to be ever-vigilant that we are protecting the privacy of that information," said Campbell.

The IRMC has a committee dedicated to tackling these issues. According to Campbell, members are looking at best practices and technologies to create integrity as the states online presence grows. Already, the committee is looking at the U.S. General Accounting Office, where security tests of federal systems were conducted and poor grades were handed out in many areas. "They found vulnerability in the system. We want to conduct these tests at our state agencies," said Campbell. "We have to realize security systems in state agencies cant be a one-size-fits-all scheme."

Southern Comfort

Campbell makes his job as auditor sound almost fun -- a word rarely used in reference to auditing. He says his first interest in technology came from watching James Bond films and being irresistibly attracted to high-tech gadgets. Then came a job with IBM selling Selectric typewriters and buying into the benefits of productivity as technology developed.

Throughout his journey, Campbell has stayed in touch with his roots, performing community service as a lifetime commitment. He has won numerous awards and honors for his dedication. "I have a strong interest in the United Negro College Fund and the Habitat for Humanity program," he said. "When I was on the council in Raleigh, we pushed forward a bond referendum for affordable housing opportunities. Home ownership is very important."

Just as his father stood at the frontlines of the civil rights movement, Campbell is poised on the frontier of new technology that can transform government and engage people regardless of income, education or ability.

Ralph Campbell has high expectations for himself and for the state he plans to serve in the new millennium. "Through technology, I want to push North Carolina to become the first smart state," he declared. "And we are already on our way."

Darby Patterson  |  Editor