Faulty Medicaid system paid out $11 million to deceased residents in Rhode Island

Rhode Island paid about $11 million to more than 1,000 deceased residents during fiscal year 2018 as a result of faulty software within its statewide health insurance platform, the state auditor revealed Thursday. The audit also shows the state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services is struggling to retrieve more than $60 million in double payments dispersed to nursing homes while the computer system could not process patient applications. The mispayments were a result of several deficiencies found in the system, called RIBridges, or sometimes referred to by its project name, the state’s United Health Infrastructure Project, or UHIP. The audit shows that the platform’s eligibility controls — the service that determines which residents can receive Medicaid — did not meet state standards. A comparison of the state’s benefit-eligibility records and independent death records performed by auditor Dennis Hoyle found 10,881 dead people were still considered “eligible” for Medicaid. “..

How one city trawls social media to inform policy and make decisions

An AI-powered data-gathering platform used by the city of Aurora, Illinois, has helped officials make better decisions, the city’s chief information officer said at a conference in Denver last week. But he also conceded that the platform’s reliance on social media like Twitter and Facebook leaves open the possibility that it’s using great deal of information from unverified sources. Michael Pegues, the top IT official for the Chicago suburb of about 210,000, said at the Smart Cities Connect conference that public safety leaders and other officials in his city often look to ZenCity — an analytics tool that blends official information, news sources and social media — to guide law-enforcement operations and other big policy actions. “We’re learning to be the smartest city in America,” Pegues said, aspiring for an ideal bandied about by many local governments pursuing a “smart city” agenda. Pegues said the ZenCity platform came in handy on Feb. […] Source

Bill would create cybersecurity grant program for state and local governments

U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Cory Gardner introduced legislation Monday that would authorize the Department of Homeland Security to give state and local governments grants to purchase additional cybersecurity resources and hire more information-security personnel. Under the State Cyber Resiliency Act, state, local and tribal governments would be invited to put together plans to improve their overall defenses around their computer networks, communications systems and industrial control systems, such as internet-connected devices that operate environmental sensors and other “smart city” platforms. Plans would be designed with the goals of improving overall security, running regular vulnerability assessments and other threat-mitigation exercises and ensuring operational continuity — particularly public safety and law enforcement — in the event of a cyberattack. “As cyberattacks increase in frequency and gravity, we must ensure that our nation — from our local governments on up — is adequate..

Three ways state and local governments can get people excited about data projects

A host of organizations must get involved with a state or local government’s open data program before it can begin generating information rich enough to inform policy or improve operations. But officials from Austin and the Texas state government told a conference audience Monday that with persistence and open communication, it’s possible to convert skeptics into open-data advocates. Texas launched its open data portal as a pilot project in 2014 without much support. But as of early 2019, it’s logged 288 million downloads of its datasets, Ed Kelly, the state’s data coordinator, said at Tyler Technologies’ Connect conference in Dallas. The state has partnered with the city of Austin and is now looking for new partnerships with more city and county governments as it continues searching for ways to ply data against government’s challenges, he said. 1. Lead by example Kelly said that lifting the state’s data program out of […] Source

Former Iowa CIO takes job in Abilene, Texas

Former Iowa Chief Information Officer Robert von Wolffradt was hired Monday as the first CIO of Abilene, Texas, city officials said. Von Wolffradt, who left the Iowa state government in January, will begin his new role in Abilene, a Central Texas city of about 136,000, later this month. The city’s IT division will take a higher priority in technology discussions moving forward, according to Abilene City Manager Robert Hanna. “Mr. von Wolffradt will lead the City’s efforts to better leverage technology to serve our citizens as Abilene’s first Chief Information Officer,” Hanna said in a press release. “Previously, the City’s Information Technology Division did not always have a seat at the table and wasn’t always brought into high level discussions on technology. Bob will lead a team of dedicated professionals and will ensure that the City’s acquisition and implementation of technology is strategically focused and well executed.” During his six years as […] Source

Connecticut takes first steps in ‘all-digital government’ initiative

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced Tuesday a series of proposals aimed at reducing redundancies in the state’s procurement processes and making government services increasingly digitized. The initiatives come a few weeks after Lamont’s office issued a budget proposal vowing to make Connecticut the first “all-digital government.” Several of the proposals Lamont offered Tuesday involve reducing the number of forms businesses seeking contracts with the state government have to complete to bid on projects, and moving more of the solicitation process online through an updated procurement portal. He also said his administration plans to make it easier for residents to conduct government transactions online rather than visiting agency offices or waiting for physical forms sent in the mail. Not coincidentally, Lamont and Josh Geballe, the commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services, which includes the state IT office, made the announcement at a paper-shredding plant in East Wi..

‘Small Places, Big Ideas’ innovation cohort for local governments announced

Local governments strapped for resources may soon find their best allies for uncovering innovations are other local governments hundreds of miles away. The software firm UrbanLeap on Friday announced a new partnership with ELGL, a network of more than 3,000 local government leaders, to establish a yearlong innovation program designed to give local governments a chance to pilot new ideas and technologies at low risk. Called the “Small Places, Big Ideas Innovation Cohort,” the program will allow 25 city, county and town governments a chance to build out new technologies designed to improve services offered to residents with the help of ELGL and UrbanLeap. In an attempt to assist local governments that may have fewer connections or less funding at hand, localities with populations below 30,000 will be given preferential treatment in the application process, according to a press release. Each applicant is required to dedicate at least one full-time […] Source

California lawmaker renews call for CIO’s ouster after latest DMV gaffe

Between long lines at state offices, millions of dollars in supplementary funding requests and reports of attempted interference against a voter registration system by overseas actors, the computer systems operated by the California Department of Motor Vehicles are not working well these days. Now, amid an audit of the DMV, a lengthy investigation published this week by the Los Angeles Times and ongoing budget talks that continue to uncover new problems, some lawmakers, led by Republican Assemblyman Vince Fong, are calling for new leadership at the state’s Department of Technology, which designed the DMV’s automatic voter registration system. Fong, who called in October for the resignations of then-DMV Director Jean Shiomoto and state Chief Information Officer Amy Tong, told StateScoop he is hopeful with the new evidence of the DMV’s troubles in its computer systems and what he characterized as systemic problems within the state’s overall IT governance, that there will […] Source

Georgia hires National Guard IT chief as new CISO

The Georgia state government hired David Allen, a former chief technology officer for the state’s National Guard, as the new statewide chief information officer this month, the Georgia Technology Authority confirmed to StateScoop Wednesday. Allen, who spent a decade as a deputy CTO and then IT chief for the National Guard, succeeded former CISO Stanton S. Gatewood, who resigned in February after three years leading the state’s cybersecurity office. Stanton took the CISO job in February 2016, capping a four-decade career that included five years as the CISO of the University of Georgia and seven as the top information security official for the University System of Georgia, which encompasses all 28 of the state’s public four-year colleges and universities. Before UGA, he also worked for four years as the CISO at the University of Southern California. As Georgia’s statewide cybersecurity chief, Gatewood most recently played a role in the development […] Source

In Albany ransomware attack, officials say information was not compromised

Officials in Albany, New York, said Wednesday that no city information was compromised in the ransomware attack that struck its municipal government late last month. Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Rachel McEneny, the city’s administrative services commissioner, said that the city did lose access to some data, but that the technicians responding to the hack, which Sheehan made public March 30, have the ability to restore it. “From the standpoint of mission critical data and information we feel confident that anything we need to recover, we’ll be able to recover,” Sheehan said at a news conference. While most city services are available to residents, officials are still unable to process requests for vital records like birth certificates and marriage licenses, and are referring people to offices in neighboring jurisdictions. The mayor said that Albany has not paid the ransom demanded by the malware that encrypted city computer systems, but few other details […] Source

By |2019-04-11T19:48:38+00:00April 11th, 2019|Albany, City, Cybersecurity, Kathy Sheehan, New York, ransomware, Uncategorized|
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