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07/29/2020
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WorkScoop

Take pro bono IT help when you can get it

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this week that the “SWAT teams” of private-sector IT professionals the state has recruited to help address its pandemic-related technology needs have delivered about $14 million worth of pro bono work. The COVID-19 Technology SWAT Teams, which the New York Office of Information Technology Services created in late March, has produced apps residents use to schedule diagnostic and antibody tests, websites displaying the latest data about the pandemic’s toll and the state’s recover plans, revamps to the state government’s digital service offerings. In total, about 7,300 tech-industry workers have volunteered to help the state with pandemic-related tech projects, officials said. Benjamin Freed reports.


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Legal advice for pandemic-era data

Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, government organizations have largely started to understand the technical challenges of shifting their operations to telework. But a new data infrastructure resulting from more staff working from home and increasingly using cloud-based tools has introduced new legal implications that officials must contend with, a technology lawyer told the National Association of Counties’ online conference yesterday. “All of these trends are data-intensive,” Brian Bodor, a partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, said. But while the companies that provide these services have put a lot of thought into protecting their own interests, he said the same degree of consideration may not extend to their customers, leaving the privacy burden on local governments. Colin Wood reports.


Colorado to pen-test election IT

The Colorado secretary of state’s office said yesterday it is partnering with the security firm Synack to conduct penetration tests of its election systems ahead of the presidential vote. In an interview with StateScoop, Trevor Timmons, the chief information officer for Secretary of State Jena Griswold, said Synack will poke and prod the agency’s election infrastructure, including the statewide voter registration database and Griswold’s office’s main website. “We need to know [vulnerabilities],” Timmons said. “We’ve got enough time that if they found anything we’d be able to respond to them." Ben has more.


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Expanding chatbot, virtual agent use to meet citizen needs

Government leaders learned this year that when emergencies increase needs for citizen services, chatbots and virtual agents can help agencies to reduce the volume of questions on its employees. The coronavirus pandemic, in particular, has increase the urgency among leaders to improve their technical capabilities to scale services and better manage data, says the acting assistant secretary of the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology. Hear more from Illinois’ Jennifer Ricker.


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Coronavirus pandemic sparked modernization, future growth in states

Though state and local government agencies are scrambling to meet the demands of the remote workforce, the effects of IT modernization will lay the groundwork for many successful projects in the future. Because the timeline to modernize has been incredibly shortened, public sector leaders have an opportunity to use these transformations as a kickoff point for effective and efficient modernization over the long term. Hear more from the experts.


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