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06/03/2021
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WorkScoop

Out of the dark ages

Next month, West Virginia Chief Technology Officer Joshua Spence will lose his current title and become the state’s CIO. The title change follows Gov. Jim Justice’s approval this year of legislation that in addition to swapping acronyms, also gives Spence more authority to direct the state's IT policies. The bill was led by 78-year-old state Sen. Chandler Swope, who said he learned last year that the state tax department was using “1970s model computers based on DOS with monochrome screens," and that other agencies are still in the "dark ages."   Colin Wood reports.


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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.


This one's still a CTO

Newly appointed Pennsylvania CTO Jason Hebbe told StateScoop yesterday that his priority is to continue the work his predecessor performed to promote digital services throughout the commonwealth. “I think, primarily, to just continue the track we’re on, to support the administration and all of the strategic and visionary initiatives they’re trying to accomplish,” Hebbe said. He said Pennsylvania is in the middle of a “customer service transformation initiative” to standardize the state’s digital presence. Ryan Johnston has the story.


Money's only one piece

A pair of state CISOs said yesterday that while the prospect of more cybersecurity funding is always welcome, it’ll take more than a blank check to defend government networks and infrastructure. They also need professional talent and the ability to create processes that can be adapted to less-mature local agencies. “Do we want funding? Of course. Who says no?” said Washington CISO Vinod Brahmapuram. “How do we create a repeatable process? What can we do at a state level that can be done by local agencies without having to reinvent the wheel?” Benjamin Freed has more.


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How Washington State is modernizing for a cloud-native world

When the Washington State’s Health Benefits Exchange earmarked their API management tool as legacy, its leaders turned to an open source, cloud-based tool to modernize. A new report outlines the steps they took to build greater efficiency and security in under 100 days. Read more in the report.


King County, Washington, bans facial recognition

King County, Washington, on Tuesday became the first county in the country to ban government use of facial recognition, following similar bans in San Francisco; Pittsburgh; Boston; Portland, Oregon; and other large cities. The ban, which the nine-member King County Metropolitan Council passed unanimously, will prevent all county agencies, including the sheriff’s office, from accessing or using facial recognition technology, even though no agency is currently doing so. The ban has drawn the scorn of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a tech-industry think tank supported by facial-recognition vendors like Amazon. Ryan has details


Can Congress make 'smart cities' happen?

Two House members recently introduced the Smart Cities and Communities Act, proposing federal spending of $1.1 billion over five years to provide assistance and coordinate resources for local governments interested in pushing a smart-city agenda. While similar legislation has failed twice before, former Palo Alto, California, CIO Jonathan Reichental wonders in his latest column if all the talk about infrastructure funding means it'll pass this time. Read the column.


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