The state received a good review from a joint project of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and a government trade magazine that periodically grades state governments on how they serve citizens. The review is due to several new technology programs that deliver services to citizens.


The Department of Health and Social Services has undertaken the Grant Reform Project to assess and improve the states grant activities. The initial task of the project, to develop recommendations for improvement or change, has been completed. The recommendations include a Web site for grants and a database to track grant documents.


The states School Facilities Board voted to award a $100 million contract to Qwest Communications. Qwest will provide computer networking infrastructure and Internet connectivity of public schools statewide. The networking contract will provide schools with the resources necessary to use the TOPAZ telecommunications network being coordinated by the Government Information Technology Agency. This will give rural communities broadband access without requiring additional money from the state.


In February, the House of Representatives approved HB 1003, a bill that would require all public schools and libraries to install filtering software to keep minors from viewing pornographic Internet sites. -- Arkansas Democrat-Gazette


Gov. Gray Davis announced the release of $167 million in education technology grants for high schools. More than 108,000 multimedia, Internet-capable computers will be added to high schools as a result of the grants. This will bring the student-to-multimedia-computers ratio down to 5-to-1 across the state.


In February, Gov. Bill Owens announced the Leadership Technology and Student Achievement initiative. The initiative is designed to educate the states K-12 school superintendents and principals on effective uses of technology in schools. The two-year program will begin this summer.


In February, CIO Rock Regan announced new standards to be applied to all new technology purchases and upgrades throughout state government. The new standards are posted on the Department of Information Technologys Web site. The standards will help state agencies share information with other state agencies.


Gov. Ruth Ann Minner signed an executive order to create a permanent E-Government Steering Committee to coordinate the states Internet presence and create a uniform set of standards for state agency Web sites. The governor also ordered state agencies to seek funding for Internet projects through this centralized body.


The Governors Mentoring Initiative is partnering with Intermedia Communications to provide Tampa Bay mentoring programs with more than 250 computers. This initiative is an ongoing effort to wire the schools and nonprofit youth organizations to the Internet.


The Georgia Technology Authority launched an initiative to build a communications network that will connect the entire state. The new network should improve constituents access to government and promote economic development within the state.


The state has chosen NIC Commerce, the e-procurement subsidiary of NIC, to build and operate an e-purchasing system for state agencies. This project will enhance the services offered by the Hawaii Information Consortium at the states official Web site.


The Nampa School Districts 13 schools now have better access to the Internet after a major technology upgrade. The $150,000 upgrade was partly paid for with funds from the Nampa Urban Renewal Agency. -- The Idaho Statesman


In February, the Quad County Urban