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Merrill Douglas

Contributing Writer

August 24, 2015

Navigating the Road to Consolidation

The search for a more efficient IT structure may lead a government on one of several different paths.

August 18, 2014

Talent Management Systems Help Governments Manage Their Workforce

Governments are employing tools to help combat the growing numbers of baby boomer retirements and the challenge of attracting a new generation of employees into public service.

May 23, 2014

The Drive to Modernize: Governments Hatch Strategies to Bring Legacy Applications Up to Date

Some public entities have been working for years to get their applications in line with business needs. Others are just getting started.

August 7, 2013

Virginia's Identity Verification to Reduce Fraud and Increase Efficiency in Shared Services

How an agency partnership and federal Medicaid funds created a shared authentication service in Virginia.

June 6, 2013

Health Insurance Marketplaces Delay Mobile Apps for Now

States scramble to launch online health insurance marketplaces, but smartphone users will have to wait for mobile access.

April 1, 2013

Big Data Raises Big Questions

What keeps more governments from pursuing large-scale data analytics? Concerns about working with multiple data formats, safeguarding privacy, finding the right skill sets and funding the projects, to name a few.

June 14, 2012

Gang of 7 Big-City CIOs Forges Ahead Despite Turnover

An informal group of city CIOs vows to pull off its first formal project — despite evolving membership.

November 11, 2011

Rewarding Employees in Tough Budgetary Times

With funds for incentives tight or nonexistent, how can public CIOs recognize employees for going above and beyond?

May 11, 2011

Los Angeles, Minnesota Discuss Migrating to Cloud Computing

State and local governments discuss the benefits and pitfalls of software as a service.

January 21, 2011

The Economics of E-Government Services Are Far From Simple

Do citizens — and governments — benefit from e-government services?

October 18, 2010

G7: CIOs From Seven Big-Cities Work Together to Develop Open-Source IT Solutions

Informal group of like-minded city IT leaders works to create sharable solutions. Open API for 311 systems is the first result. Members say more is on the way.

August 3, 2010

Federal CIO's Techstat Initiative Seeks to Diagnose Troubled IT Initiatives and Deliver Quick Treatment

Federal CIO Vivek Kundra implements TechStat Accountability Sessions to find problems in agencies' IT projects and take action to solve them.

June 13, 2010

San Diego County CIO Shares Secrets Behind Success With IT Outsourcing

California county outsourcing model attributed to solid structure and governance.

April 19, 2010

Social Network Dynamics Key to Understanding Agency Success or Failure

To understand why public policies fail or succeed, it's essential to learn how people form networks within an organization.

March 17, 2010

South Carolina's Public-Private Partnership Brings Interoperability to State Public Safety Communications

Growing emergency communications system serves more than 450 state, county and municipal agencies.

March 15, 2010

Federally Funded Study to Bring Thousands of Electric Cars to Five States

EV Project gives electric vehicles and recharging infrastructure to states for two-year study.

August 9, 2009

Hillsborough County, Florida, Outsources Application Development

Florida county outsources software development to streamline surveying and mapping databases.

July 21, 2009

Government IT Organization Models Change With the Times

Government IT Organization Models Change With the Times

May 17, 2009

Agile Development Speeds Government Software Development

Texas, Colorado agencies embrace the collaborative agile software development model.

March 15, 2009

Active Directory Project Was a Key to Missouri Consolidation

Consolidating e-mail 'communities' saves money and improves quality of life for Missouri state employees.

February 27, 2009

Macs Appear on More Government Desktops

Apple technology gains foothold in San Antonio and Washington, D.C.

January 12, 2009

End-Users Bring Apples Into Government

Macs and iPhones play a growing role inside the workplace.

October 17, 2008

How to Build Legislative Support for Technology Projects

Project funding often depends on CIOs' ability to communicate with lawmakers.

September 15, 2008

New Project Management Strategies Reduce Troubled Government IT Deployments

Training programs and innovative approaches seek to boost project success.

August 25, 2008

Mesh Network Creates Low-Cost Muni Wi-Fi for Kentucky Town

Project provides free wireless Internet in downtown Prestonsburg for just $8,500.

August 25, 2008

Governments Use Document Imaging to Manage Paper Documents

Document imaging systems stand ready to integrate hard copy into the digital government enterprise.

August 15, 2008

CIOs and Elected Officials: Strategies for Better Communications

CIOs must engage politicians in regular conversations on IT.

August 14, 2008

Money-Saving Strategies for Coping with Shrinking Government IT Budgets

SaaS, open source, energy efficiency and shared applications help CIOs stretch IT funding.

August 6, 2008

How to Become a Public-Sector CIO

As the government CIO's role continues to change, what's the best career strategy for a professional who aspires to that position?

June 16, 2008

Identity Management Streamlined at University of Texas Campuses

The University of Texas Identity Management Federation fosters intercampus collaboration.

June 5, 2008

Public CIO Career Path Hard but Rewarding

Experts stress diverse skills needed to become government IT executive.

May 6, 2008

SOA Reduces Risk and Cost in Shared Services Projects

Service-oriented architecture offers low-risk, low-cost building blocks for creating shared services in government.

April 8, 2008

Texas Uses Purchasing Projections to Strike Better Deals

Texas Department of Information Resources collects purchasing information to improve vendor negotiations.

April 3, 2008

Telework Helps Virginia and Arizona Recruit and Retain Employees

Government telework strategies also strengthen continuity of operations.

March 23, 2008

Server and Desktop Virtualization Cuts IT Costs for Government Agencies

Virtual servers and desktops squeeze more work from less computer hardware.

February 21, 2008

E-Mail Management Strategies

Public-sector organizations need full-blown policies for managing business content in e-mail.

February 18, 2008

Upgrading Emergency Preparedness and Response

A governor's performance during a disaster speaks to his or her abilities as an overall leader and manager.

January 28, 2008

Homegrown ERP Helps Texas Schools Meet Education Challenges

Texas schools create specialized ERP modules and sometimes entire systems to handle unique demands.

December 19, 2007

Decertification Dilemma

California's decision to restrict e-voting systems creates a quandary.

November 16, 2007

ITIL by the Numbers

ITIL implementation revs up North Carolina's service performance.

October 12, 2007

Who's Next?

What CIOs need to know about succession planning.

October 9, 2007

Rising to the Challenge

Do FEMA floodplain maps need better elevation data? And if they do, who will foot the bill?

September 23, 2007

Site Seeing

Four states and Google make sure search engines can find government data.

August 16, 2007

No Confidence

E-voting machines decertified in California, and counties aren't happy.

July 9, 2007

Justice Collaboration

Pennsylvania's state CIO plays a key role in supporting one of the country's most comprehensive criminal justice networks.

May 31, 2007

Mobile Probes

Wisconsin tries private vehicles and cell phones to monitor traffic.

March 23, 2007

When No One's Home

Technology grant helps communities catalog and manage their vacant properties.

March 9, 2007

Stretching Resources

Schools save money when four students share the assets of one PC.

January 29, 2007

California Screening

New technology helps health department vastly expand its newborn genetic screening program.

December 26, 2006

Monumental Improvement

As genealogists turn to the Web to research public cemetery gravesites, city clerk's staff can devote more time to other tasks.

November 6, 2006

Getting it Together

Statewide health-care data system in North Carolina will unite county and state health departments.

November 5, 2006

Good Call

Jersey university taps the power of the data-enabled cell phone.

September 7, 2006

Can You Dig It?

GIS system stops redundant street excavations in Sacramento County, Calif.

September 7, 2006

Mending the Net

By sharing patients' medical data, Fort Wayne, Ind., "safety net" clinics can offer better care.

July 31, 2006

Roll Call

Washington state's HAVA-compliant database of registered voters paves the way for value-added county registration portals.

July 6, 2006

Halt! Who Goes There?

Roselle, N.J., makes doubly sure that only trusted users gain access to its network.

June 2, 2006

Putting Violence on the Map

New York City uses GIS to analyze and improve the effectiveness of domestic violence programs.

May 2, 2006

Communication Breakdown

Incident sparks debate on emergency access to wireless location information.

March 30, 2006

Public-Private Puzzle

As the federal government offers more money for local traffic management infrastructure, state DOTs differ on how to fit private-sector partners into the picture.

February 8, 2006

After the Storm

As hurricanes ripped through the Gulf Coast in 2005, government CIOs swung into action.

February 3, 2006

Coordinated Aid

Alabama creates a system to match donated goods and services to the needy just days after Hurricane Katrina.

January 2, 2006

Privacy Concerns

Fears for the safety of judges, police officers and other officials spark debates over personal information on e-government sites.

December 8, 2005

Remote Possibility

Adams County, Pa., finds a Web-based virtual private network makes it easier to satisfy demand from outside organizations for access to the county's network.

December 4, 2005

Keeping Time

An auditing system helps city workers regulate time spent on the Internet and reminds them that the boss is keeping track too.

September 30, 2005

Virtual Village Square

What does it take to transform a lackluster municipal Web site into a vibrant community meeting place?

September 7, 2005

Where Few Phone Lines Have Gone Before

A New Mexico city looks to Wi-Fi for voice services in underserved neighborhoods.

August 31, 2005

Public-Sector Payola

New York offers online access to data about city contractors and lobbyists. How far does this really go toward ending corruption in campaign finance?

August 31, 2005

Head of the Class

The University of North Carolina launches a certification program to groom CIOs for success in city and county government.

July 27, 2005

Remote Control

City agencies look to onboard monitoring and data analysis systems to lower fleet costs and keep vehicles in service.

July 5, 2005

Public Screening

Denver transit agency has a look at television service on buses and light rail trains.

June 27, 2005

Parking Spotter

Sacramento County's mobile license plate recognition system locates scofflaws, eyeballs vehicles that overstay their welcome and helps recover stolen cars.

May 27, 2005

For the Record

The digital revolution raises difficult new questions about how to maintain a complete account of government activities

March 28, 2005

The Whole Enchilada

Enterprise GIS servers could be an easier, more economical way to distribute full GIS functionality to many desktops.

February 8, 2005

In Quest of Coherence

New York's CIO Council fosters an enterprise approach to IT development in state and local government.

July 9, 2004

Can We Help You?

Ohio service agency builds database to quickly locate people with special needs during a disaster.

July 9, 2004


Automated indexing tool helps rescue county from eight-week document recording backlog.

May 7, 2004

Manassas Powers Up

The city's electrical grid links subscribers' computers to fiber-optic network via broadband over power lines.

January 6, 2004

After the Flood

An accurate GIS database of flood hazards could save North Carolina taxpayers millions in disaster aid.

December 3, 2003

Ad Hoc Hops

MANETs promise freedom from the limits of wireless backbone infrastructure.

October 28, 2003

The Right Site

Nampa's new GIS tool points business real-estate shoppers to suitable properties.

October 13, 2003

Arlington County Cans Spam

IT staff wages war on electronic junk mail.

September 3, 2003

Sniffing Out Trouble

Permanent data probes and Web-based management software keep traffic flowing on Indiana's state government network.

July 29, 2003

One-Stop Shopping

Federal, state and local agencies work together on a portal for sharing GIS files.

June 27, 2003

GIS Central

A common warehouse for geographic data transforms GIS in North Dakota from an esoteric application to a widely accessible business tool.

June 27, 2003

Instant Alerts

Pop-up message service brings quick emergency warnings to desktop PCs.

April 22, 2003

Creative License

Florida takes an enterprise approach to regulating business and professional activities.

February 14, 2003

Moving Forward, Backing Up

Wichita implements a data backup and storage strategy to accommodate growth.

January 29, 2003

Power Users

Sophisticated software helps Los Angeles County and the state of California cut energy consumption in government facilities.

November 22, 2002

Broadband: On the Side

Larger public utilities have started adding high-speed data to their service menus. What does this mean for their communities and for the principle of fair competition?

October 31, 2002

Common Purpose, Common Platform

An enterprise approach to e-government holds costs down for Mississippi and gives citizens a quick path to services.

September 24, 2002

Putting Computers to the Test

Idaho measures students' progress with exams that automatically adjust to each child's abilities.

September 5, 2002

Admit Once

Governments are looking for one-stop access control that grants authorized users access to multiple applications.

September 5, 2002

The Check Is in the Mail

An integrated printing and mailing system helps Virginia Treasury Department produce checks more quickly and earn postal discounts.

August 8, 2002

New LINCs to Safety

Seattle demonstrates a local version of a federal system to map the spread of hazardous materials.

July 3, 2002

A Better View

Video technology opens a window on real-time traffic conditions for transportation managers.

June 4, 2002

Creative Partnership

Facing a budget crunch, Oklahoma financed new enterprise software by tying the vendor's rewards to the system's ongoing success.

May 1, 2002

A Tight Net Against Terror

By sharing information stored in federal, state and local databases, governments hope to keep deadly plotters from slipping through the cracks.

April 16, 2002

Collaboration is Key

Public/private health-care consortia explore practical ways to safeguard patient data.

April 16, 2002

Do It Yourself

A content management system eases the task of disseminating information to workers at the Oregon Employment Department.

April 16, 2002

Planning for the Enterprise

Broad agency involvement helped Missouri gracefully survive the transition to one of the largest ERP systems around.

April 16, 2002

E-Commerce Pays

An Internet-based payment system in Maine saves time and money while satisfying vendors' needs for disbursement information.

April 15, 2002

Mobile Imperative

Terrorist attacks boost interest in mobile technologies for investigation and emergency response.

October 1, 2001

Order in the Cyber Court

Michigan is attempting to launch a cutting-edge cyber court to speed business cases through the legal system.

August 31, 2001

Building Blocks

State governments have created an online facility for sharing reusable software, making application development faster and cheaper.

August 1, 2001

An Urban Data Goldmine

New York City agencies roll out the first public applications based on a massive new warehouse of geographic data.

May 6, 2001

An E-Voting Evolution

More and more jurisdictions are considering electronic voting solutions. Heres how one county made the successful transition.

March 29, 2001


Pre-req: Must be a Washington state employee willing to head to school to learn the ABCs of delivering government services on the Web.

March 3, 2001

Fiber Tightens Community Ties

A new fiber-optic network in Oakland County, Mich., will give municipalities better access to data the county maintains and will make it easier for local agencies to help one another.

February 12, 2001

Leo Reaches Out

The communications pipeline for law enforcement will serve even more state and local users -- and perhaps their colleagues overseas -- as the FBI debuts its virtual private network.

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