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Maryland Governor Wes Moore Unveils Sweeping Technology Initiative

Plans to overhaul IT services in the state include new AI regulations; policies ensuring ease of access to state platforms; a collaborative approach to cybersecurity; and a new office dedicated to user-centric digital innovations.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore standing in front of a podium with two microphones and speaking while gesturing with one hand.
Maryland Gov. Wes Moore
Image courtesy of Wes Moore (Facebook)
Maryland Gov. Wes Moore unveiled a comprehensive, four-pronged strategy to revolutionize the digital experience for Maryland residents.

The plan incorporates a new artificial intelligence executive order, accessibility policy, the implementation of new digital design tools, and partnerships to expand the protections of the state’s digital infrastructure.

“By modernizing state government, we will better meet our constituent needs,” Moore stated in a press release. “We will better address our community challenges, and we will better assert Maryland’s leadership in this decade.”

The buildup to these changes has been months in the making, with the Maryland Department of Information Technology undergoing a massive restructuring last August. Maryland CIO Katie Savage seemed to foreshadow many of the changes outlined by Moore this week, sharing with Government Technology in May 2023 that the state would begin taking a concerted approach to studying and utilizing generative AI by collecting, cleansing and ensuring the availability of data to effectively train AI models.

“All of these initiatives reinforce each other. To drive a competitive economy for our residents, we must embrace new technology (AI). To embrace new technology, we need talented experts (MDDS). The talented experts must ensure the technology is accessible to all and all should know their information is secure,” Savage wrote in a post on LinkedIn.

According to a press release, the executive order will help the state navigate the responsible and productive use of artificial intelligence by state agencies, while also establishing an AI subcabinet that will develop and implement an action plan to operationalize AI principles and create appropriate “guard rails.” The subcabinet will also assist with AI knowledge, skills and talent in state government.

Second, the governor’s initiative centers on establishing the Digital Service within the Maryland Department of Information Technology. The office will cater to the needs of state agencies through a dedicated team of state product managers, user researchers, designers and engineers. The team will be responsible for facilitating website and application redesigns and conducting discovery efforts for agencies to enhance the accuracy and agility of procurements.

Third, the strategy encompasses the formulation and implementation of Maryland’s first-ever digital accessibility policy, designed to guarantee universal access to information technology and services procured or developed by the state.

Lastly, Moore announced the inception of the Maryland Cybersecurity Task Force, a collaborative team merging expertise from members of the Maryland Department of Information Technology, the Maryland Military Department and the Maryland Department of Emergency Management, under the coordination of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security. The task force will provide a holistic 360-degree approach to cybersecurity efforts to fortify the protection of data and privacy across the state.