It’s Thanksgiving, which means it’s time for turkey. So today, we’re serving up a steaming platter of “tech turkeys” in honor of the holiday. Join us for a look at some of our biggest disappoints of 2012.
In June, a dispute between Gov. Rick Scott and state lawmakers killed the Florida Agency for Enterprise Information Technology (AEIT). Legislators passed a bill that would have abolished the AEIT and created a new IT agency with a narrower mission, but Scott vetoed the bill, arguing that it was too restrictive. That action defunded the AEIT, forcing the state to close its central technology agency for the second time in seven years.
The South Carolina Department of Revenue (DOR) announced in October that large-scale cyberattacks had left millions of customer records vulnerable. A series of attacks on the DOR, which serves the state’s population of more than 4.6 million, exposed 3.6 million Social Security numbers, as well as credit and debit card information supplied to the agency by state taxpayers. As a result of the scandal, DOR Director James Etter announced he'll be stepping down at year's end.
Utah CIO Steve Fletcher resigned in May after state IT officials discovered that health and Medicaid data for nearly 800,000 residents had been stolen from a poorly secured server operated by the Utah Department of Technology Services. Fletcher said he struggled for security funds even though cyber threats had spiked for months leading up to the incident.
In July, an Indiana judge turned down the state’s bid to collect $437 million from IBM in a long-running dispute over a failed welfare system upgrade. Marion County Judge David Dreyer also turned down damages for IBM, attributing the project’s failure to “misguided government policy and overzealous corporate ambition."
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.