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Senate approves Legislative budget, with IT changes

Feb 16, 2021

The State Senate has approved the Legislature's budget bill for the 2021-2023 biennium.

The budget includes many of the changes made prior to the current session that were driven by the pandemic – including viewing and attending committee meetings remotely.

"You have today a budget which really is tomorrow's Legislature today," Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks) said. "You will find that, compared to other Legislatures around the country, North Dakota is the gold standard."

The Legislature’s interim Information Technology Committee is recommending that the IT Department continue with its unification project.

IT had earlier recommended that IT functions in state government should be consolidated. The 2019 Session passed a measure to do that with some state cabinet level agencies.

"Two years is not enough to have usable data," said IT committee chairman Rep. Corey Muck (D-Grand Forks). "We do agree the effort should be continued, and there should be reasonable attempts to modify, or include new agencies in that pilot project."

North Dakota’s Information Technology director said his agency is working on an app that would be a one-stop portal to the state of North Dakota.

Shawn Riley said this app will improve the customer’s experience in dealing with state government agencies. Riley outlined the plan to the Legislature’s Information Technology Committee. He said it should make the citizens’ experience a lot better.

In the 2019 Legislative Session, the Burgum Administration proposed a unification of the state’s information technology efforts.

The Legislature agreed to a pilot project with some agencies, and tasked the interim IT committee with studying the issue.

ITD working on single entry log in for state websites

Sep 16, 2019

North Dakota’s Information Technology Department is working on a “single entry” concept to log on to state websites.

"Most citizens would tell you, 'It's great that I can get things on line, but state government as a whole doesn't treat me as a single entity, and I'm having to re-key information numerous times,'" said ITD chief operating officer Dan Sipes. "'If I change my mailing address at the Department of Motor Vehicles, it should propagate to other systems in state government -- but that doesn't happen.'"

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Two Democratic NPL statewide candidates say the state of North Dakota needs to up its game when it comes to information technology.

They say, for example, businesses that have to file registration information with the Secretary of State’s office, or tax information with the state Tax Department are often frustrated with the difficulty in doing that, given the current IT platforms.

Tax Commissioner candidate Kylie Overson told Bismarck reporters she’s been talking with Secretary of State candidate Joshua Boschee about creating a “Hub.”

ITD working on consolidation plans

Aug 6, 2018

North Dakota’s information technology department is continuing to work toward consolidation of IT services under one umbrella department.

State Chief Information Officer Shawn Riley calls it a work in progress. Riley said his agency is doing a “deep data collection” on IT – who in what state agency is working in IT, what they do and what systems they have.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota’s chief information officer says as the state becomes more computerized, the threats of computer hacking grow along with it.

"Lots of people say, 'North Dakota -- we're small, and nobody's coming after us," CIO Shawn Riley said at a meeting of elected and appointed state department heads. "On average, we defend 7.3 million attacks a month. They're comin' after us."

Riley said bad actors are looking at the state both for its energy and its network.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota’s state Internet service is undergoing a huge upgrade.

The carrier – Dakota Carrier Network – will be upgrading "StageNET" to a 100-gigabit network, to provide faster Internet services to K-12 schools and state government.

DCN CEO Seth Arndorfer said students and teachers are going to notice major improvements in what they can do on-line – and how fast they can do it.

Legislative leaders questioning ITD changes

Feb 20, 2018

Legislative leaders are asking for clarification and more information from the state’s Information Technology Department on changes either underway or in the works for ITD.

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