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01/26/2021
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WorkScoop

A quick solution for pandemic grants

As the Biden administration proposes a pandemic relief package, the governments responsible for distributing those funds are preparing software to manage the grant application process. After quickly launching a grants platform last spring, officials in Montgomery County, Ohio, said their technology could likely be repurposed for upcoming grants made available through the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that President Joe Biden outlined last week. “We didn’t have time to sit down for three months and plan out a system so we really had to hit the ground running with the development of this,” said Michael Zimmerman, public information officer for Montgomery County Business Services. Colin Wood reports.


A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.


Keeping the workforce fresh

To overcome disadvantages in competing with the private sector for technical talent, North Dakota Chief Information Officer Shawn Riley says state governments need to rebrand what it means to work for the public sector. “We need to change the message so that people are coming to the public sector based on service, based on their heart,” Riley says on the first episode of the new season of the Priorities podcast. One of the most pressing reasons for a rebrand, Riley says, is the ongoing "silver tsunami" as aging IT workers retire, taking with them knowledge of the antiquated systems that still run many crucial government programs. Listen to the episode.


Utah bill called solid 'first step' toward facial recognition policy

A bill that would require government agencies in Utah to be more transparent about their use of facial recognition software is making its way through the state Senate as a “first step” toward addressing privacy concerns about the technology, civil liberties groups said. But some of those groups also said the bill, which would require agencies to file written requests to use recognition software, could go further. Ryan Johnston has more.


Texas courts sign $98M contract with Tyler Technologies

Tyler Technologies, a major seller of government software, announced last week a new five-year contract with the Texas court system to run its electronic filing services. The agreement, worth $98 million, is the largest in Tyler’s corporate history, and will keep the company as the e-filing vendor for criminal and civil courts across all of Texas’ 254 counties through at least 2027. Texas court officials have credited the system with keeping the judicial system running through the COVID-19 pandemic and a ransomware attack last May. Benjamin Freed has details.


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Ensuring business continuity for the state of Michigan with cloud

Michigan CIO Brom Stibitz attributes his state’s success at enabling its remote workforce to the state’s centralized IT shop. They were able to ensure that the state’s 20 agencies were able to access unified cloud, email and collaboration tools which facilitated the transition. Now leadership is considering the larger impacts to the workforce and mission services. Hear more from Stibitz.


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