The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) recognized Utah CIO Steve Fletcher and Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Secretary Ruth Johnson with awards for their service and contribution to state government this week, at NASCIO’s annual conference in Denver.

Fletcher was given the association’s Meritorious Service Award for leadership in state government. Appointed CIO of Utah in 2005, he also served as NASCIO president in 2009-2010 and was a member of various committees and working groups of the association.

Utah, CIO, Steve Fletcher


Steve Fletcher, CIO, Utah


“I would like to congratulate Steve on this award and thank him for his tireless efforts,” said Kyle Schafer, outgoing NASCIO president and chief technology officer for West Virginia, in a press release. “Steve’s commitment to NASCIO is second to none. Many of our recent accomplishments would not have been possible without Steve’s leadership, guidance and direction. He is truly an asset to this organization and deserving of this recognition.”

“The state of Utah is grateful for the exceptional service Steve Fletcher has rendered our agencies and our citizens,” added Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert, in a statement. “In a time of monumental transition and the redefinition of enterprise-level IT services, Steve demonstrated visionary leadership, a steady hand, and an unflagging commitment to principles of good governance and sound fiscal management.”

Johnson received NASCIO’s State Technology Innovator Award Tuesday. Since her appointment in June 2010 by Gov. Bobby Jindal, Johnson has led an effort to reorganize and modernize her organization, often through the use of new technologies.


Ruth Johnson, secretary, Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services. Photo by Jessica Mulholland


For instance, the DCFS developed an electronic time and attendance process to manage the state’s child-care assistance program. Under the new process, parents use their fingerprint to check children into and out of child-care facilities, which improves child safety and also saves $1.5 million per month by reducing fraud and boosting efficiency.

In addition, the DCFS created a centralized 24-hour intake system for child abuse and neglect reports, replacing a regionally inconsistent and sometimes ineffective child welfare reporting process.

Johnson said the changes have made the DCFS both more effective and efficient. “We’ve come a long way,” she said. “We’ve reduced 600-plus employees and $202 million dollars in budget. And all of it was accomplished during the Gulf oil spill, two tropical storms and Mississippi river flooding.”

“NASCIO is pleased to recognize Ruth Johnson with this prestigious award,” said Dugan Petty, newly elected NASCIO president and Oregon CIO, in a statement. “Her leadership has advanced citizen service, information sharing and good government, and we applaud her commitment to these efforts.”

Technology Initiatives Spotlighted

In addition to people, NASCIO awarded 10 state initiatives to receive the organization’s 2011 Recognition Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Information Technology in State Government.

The awards are given to projects that “demonstrate that states strive to support the public policy goals of state leaders, provide cost-effective service to citizens, and make available solutions that are transferable to other agencies or units of government.”

Award recipients in the 2011 program are:

•    Cross Boundary Collaboration and Partnerships

California — Routing on Empirical Data Project

•    Data, Information and Knowledge Management

Michigan — Department of Human Services Decision Support System

•    Digital Government: Government to Business

Michigan — USAHerds Cattle Tracking, Protecting Our Food Supply

•    Digital Government: Government to Citizen

Virginia — ARRA Energy Rebate Systems

•    Enterprise IT Management Initiatives

Michigan — Optimizing Government Technology Value: Establishing Enterprise Metrics to Ensure Operational Readiness and Business Availability

•    Fast Track Solutions

Michigan — MiCloud Automated Hosting Service

•    Improving State Operations

Pennsylvania — Pennsylvania Child Support Enforcement Data Exchanges

•    Information Communications Technology Innovations

Michigan — Michigan Building Intelligence System

•    Open Government Initiatives

Oregon — Data.Oregon.gov “The First Citizen Social Interactive Data Portal”

•    Risk Management Initiatives

West Virginia — West Virginia Office of Technology Cyber Security Program

Government Technology Editor Steve Towns contributed to this report.