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2009 Annual Report



Creating an Enterprise IT Governance Framework for New York State Government

The purpose of this project was to generate a set of recommendations for enterprise IT governance in NYS government. The recommendations are based on a framework that was collaboratively developed with key stakeholders within NYS, including state CIOs, state control agencies, and the Office of the Chief Information Officer and Office for Technology (CIO/OFT).

North American Working Group
The April/May 2009 issue of Public CIO magazine, featured an article by Theresa Pardo, director, and Jana Hrdinová, program associate, on IT governance in the context of state government. Couture Governance focused on the challenges faced by state CIOs in implementing new IT governance structures that allow for coordinated action across organizations’ boundaries.
Key challenges highlighted in the final report are the lack of clarity of roles and responsibilities and the absence of adequate checks and balances. The governance structure recommended in the report includes several oversight bodies that clarify the locations for decision making and information sharing. A structure based on checks and balances is suggested to allow all stakeholders to have an appropriate role in the process. This structure has a workable arrangement of roles and responsibilities to resolve many of the current issues of authority and enterprise identity in New York State.
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CTG Testifies at New York State Assembly Hearing on State IT Governance and Procurement
The New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Governmental Operations held a hearing on November 10, 2009 to examine New York’s information technology structures regarding purchasing and managing technology products and services. CTG deputy director, Anthony Cresswell, presented testimony based on lessons learned from CTG’s IT Governance project. In the testimony, Cresswell pointed to the project report recommendations for a structure that clarifies roles and responsibilities in resolving issues of enterprise boundaries and that sets responsibility for sorting issues and strategy questions to the appropriate venue.

“Both the Office for Technology and UAlbany’s Center for Technology in Government have come forward in the past year with well-researched and well-reasoned governance models for New York State, and I commend both bodies for their significant contributions to our understanding of how the State can improve technology policy and decisionmaking, resulting in improved services and financial savings. It is important that we follow the advice of both of the reports and ensure that centralization does not become command-and-control, but rather collaborate and listen. Most importantly, it is clear to me is that there is an imperative need to formalize New York’s IT Governance structure.”
—Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito, Chair, New York State Assembly Committee on Governmental Operations

Exploring the Use of Social Media in Government

iGov Institute
Over 60 New York state and local government professionals attended two CTG workshops to share their insights on the value they seek in their use of social media, as well as their most pressing questions and concerns. Pictured is M oses Kamya, CIO of NYS Governor’s Office of Employee Relations.
Over the last several years, the emergence of social media has offered the possibility of transforming the way government agencies communicate and cooperate not only among themselves, but also with the public. Although the potential benefits of social media use by government agencies are considerable, the number of issues connected with such use and the number of potential pitfalls are substantial as well. Agencies are looking for guidance on how to achieve a balance in their use of social media.

In 2009, CTG released a report identifying the benefits and concerns surrounding the use of social media in government. The report was based on two workshops facilitated by CTG to collect input from government professionals in NYS. In 2010, CTG will conduct interviews with professionals from different levels of government to provide practical examples of how agencies manage social media use. Based on this information, CTG will produce a guide that offers practical advice on policy and regulatory issues associated with the use of social media by government agencies, guidance on resolving some of the most pressing concerns identified, and suggestions on tools that can help agencies efficiently achieve their organizational objectives through social media.
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Leveraging Technology for ARRA Reporting: A Best Practices and Knowledge Sharing Forum

UN Brindisi
From left to right: Scott Edwards and Richard Umholtz, NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Philip Bell, NYS Department of Transportation, and Robert Martin, NYS Division of Military and Navel Affairs participated in a panel at CTG’s second ARRA forum to share lessons learned while meeting the October 2009 reporting requirement.
CTG, with the support of Governor Paterson’s Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Cabinet, initiated a series of forums for NYS agencies to share best practices on effective technology-based American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) reporting strategies. The goal of the forums is to support the exchange of information about reporting and to leverage existing best and current practices in this area.

The federal requirements for reporting on the use of ARRA funds rely on the ability of state agencies to leverage current and new technology resources to capture, manage, and deliver the necessary data. This mandate provides an opportunity for cross-agency knowledge sharing on effective technology-based reporting and public dissemination strategies.

In 2009, CTG hosted two of these forums. The first forum included a presentation by the NYS Department of Transportation on information technology solutions developed to manage ARRA reporting leading up to first reporting deadline on October 10, 2009. At the second forum, CTG moderated two panels of representatives from a diverse cross section of six state agencies. The first panel shared their experiences from the October 10, 2009 ARRA reporting process. The second panel focused on the issues and challenges related to subrecipient reporting. CTG will host one additional forum in 2010 and then prepare a lessons learned report.
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Mitigating Cross-Border Air Pollution

The Air Policy Forum oversees the ten-year Border 2012 program, which takes a bottom-up, regional approach and relies heavily on local input, decision making, priority setting, and project implementation to best address environmental issues in the US-Mexico border region. The program brings together a wide variety of stakeholders to prioritize sustainable actions that consider the environmental needs of the different border communities. At the request of the US and Mexican co-chairs of the Air Policy Forum, a team of researchers from CTG and California State University, Dominguez Hills developed a case study on the Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) for Air Quality Improvement in the Cuidad Juárez, Mexico/El Paso, Texas/Doña Ana County, New Mexico Air Basin.

As part of the study, the research team traveled to El Paso, Texas and La Cruces, New Mexico to meet with and interview US and Mexican members of the JAC. The resulting case study, Mitigating Cross-Border Air Pollution: The Power of A Network, focuses on how this collaboration between two countries, three states, multiple levels of government, and industry, government, and academic organizations was formed and able to facilitate the improvement of air quality in this particular US and Mexican border region.

Building a Sustainable International Digital Government Research Community
This project is a multi-year effort to develop a sustainable global community of digital government researchers and research sponsors funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). It includes an international reconnaissance study, an annual research institute, and a framework for supporting three international working groups.

Working Groups

UN Brindisi
UAlbany’s President George M. Philip (center) welcomed 15 international scholars to a workshop hosted by CTG to gather key members from all three international digital government working groups to share their insights and expertise on conducting international research and cultivating international research partnerships.
For the past three years, three international working groups have been exploring distinct areas of digital government, which are evaluating the impacts of online citizen consultation initiatives, developing a comparative and transnational digital government research agenda for North America, and developing a prototype geoinformatic hotspot surveillance system. In 2009, CTG organized a workshop of key members from all three groups to share insights and expertise on conducting international research and cultivating international research partnerships. Their insights and recommendations for similar future efforts will be part of a report to NSF and others on strategies for supporting future international research relationships.

iGov Research Institute

iGov brings twenty doctoral students from around the world together in a unique intensive residential program to evaluate the impact of information and communication technologies on the public sector and to understand the value of doing research in an international and multi-cultural context. In 2009, the third annual Institute was held in Seattle, WA, hosted by The Information School, University of Washington.

UN Brindisi
Doctoral students from around the world attended the 2009 iGov Research Institute in Seattle, WA.
Students from Canada, China, Croatia, Denmark, France, India, Lithuania, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States attended, representing multiple academic disciplines and 14 different universities in the US, Europe, and Asia.

Throughout the week, students engaged with leading scholars in the field. Lectures and in-depth discussionscovered cutting edge topical areas, methodologies, and theories, as well as relating research to practice and sharing first-hand experience in doing international research.

Students interacted directly with public and private sector leaders through a series of field activities to several Seattle city and nonprofit agencies and Microsoft’s headquarters. Students also had the opportunity to present their own developing research ideas and proposals to their peers and faculty for feedback and discussion, and to participate in a small group project on an international digital government research question designed to explore ways to work in multidisciplinary and multi-cultural research teams. These targeted activities help iGov students develop personal and professional relationships that will continue throughout their careers.

Reconnaissance Study

The reconnaissance study, initially completed in 2007, was updated in 2009. It takes a broad look at the state of international digital government (DG) research. International DG research focuses on questions, topics, and problems that are relevant beyond the borders of a single country or culture. A set of 276 English-language articles, found in 40 journals, proceedings of thirteen conferences, and the Web sites of twelve research-oriented organizations between 1994 and 2008 are categorized into six areas encompassing various elements of international research: benchmark, comparative, transnational, fundamental issue, regional, and best practice studies. The report also highlights publishing trends and research and topical patterns.
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North American Digital Government Working Group

CTG is co-chair of the North American Digital Government Working Group (NADGWG), which was formed by researchers and practitioners from a variety of institutions and disciplines in Canada, the United States, and Mexico to advance electronic government research across geographic and political boundaries in the region. This group was formed with the support of the National Science Foundation Digital Government Research Program and the home institutions of the members.

NADGWG Group Photo
Members of the North American Digital Government Working Group (NADGWG) met in Washington, DC to continue their work on the development of a comparative transnational research agenda.
Together, the group is producing a series of deliverables for academics and practitioners as they work to enhance capability within multi-jurisdictional policy domains. The working group members are developing a transnational research agenda targeted at questions about intergovernmental digital government initiatives in North America. The diversity present in the three North American countries enables the group to develop lessons not only for the region, but also for developing and developed countries facing similar policy issues around the world.

NADGWG also includes two subgroups. The Border Region subgroup is examining the issues and challenges facing government organizations in the border regions of North America in terms of information sharing and interoperability. The Full Information Product Pricing (FIPP) project aims to develop positive incentives for companies to produce worker and environment friendly products in the NAFTA region.
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Modeling Interorganizational Information Integration

Integrating and sharing information in multi-organizational government settings involves complex interactions within social and technological contexts. Since 2002, through a multi-year NSF grant, CTG has been developing and testing dynamic models of information integration in these settings. The research has concentrated on integration activities in two critical policy areas—justice and public health—that include a wide range of information sharing functions across all three levels of government.

In 2009, CTG completed the final data collection phase of the project and released a report summarizing the results of a national survey of cross-boundary information (CBI) sharing in the public sector. The model on which the survey is based is a new theoretical representation of the individual and organization-level factors that influence interorganizational relationships and organizational change. That model was developed through rigorous qualitative analysis of eight cases of government cross-boundary information sharing using grounded theory techniques. The resulting integrative model shows how a diversity of factors interact and influence the success of cross-boundary information sharing efforts.

The national survey involved over 700 government professionals from criminal justice and public health agencies at the local and state levels from across the 50 states. The survey data provide for examining how a consistent set of factors interact to influence CBI initiatives. These results provide practitioners from around the world with important knowledge about how to increase government’s performance, accountability, and transparency. CTG will continue to analyze project data to test the weight of each of the factors as compared to their overall influence, and making further results available in both academic and practitioner publications.
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Analyzing the University at Albany’s Human Resource Processes

CTG worked with the University at Albany’s Division of Finance and Business to help them better understand the core processes and information flow among the departments of Financial Management and Budget, Human Resources Management (including Payroll and Benefits), and the Office of Diversity and Affirmative Action.

Meghan Cook
Meghan Cook, program manager, facilitating a group exercise on core processes and information flow with UAlbany departments of Financial Management and Budget, Human Resources Management and the Office of Diversity and Affirmative Action.
Through a series of facilitated workshops, individual interviews, and document analysis, CTG developed a set of process models defining the University’s appointment process and set forth recommendations to move to a more automated workflow. The value added from this work was a detailed enterprise information flow for the University’s critical human resource processes. This analysis was a critical first step in understanding the current human resources environment before strategic and tactical investments are made.

For more information on current and past projects, click here.

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