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February 2014 Egov News Report

Oklahoma eGov News

Jason Murphey -- 2014 Government Technology Top 25 Winner

Jason Murphey admits the state’s Government Modernization Committee was viewed as “kind of gimmicky” when it was created in 2009. But that’s not the case anymore. As chairman, he’s turned the body — better known as the Gov Mod Committee — into a magnet for innovative young lawmakers and a forum for IT-powered government reforms.

Murphey, a 36-year-old software developer, has shepherded a number of IT-related bills through the legislative process, including measures to create a cabinet-level CIO and consolidate state computer systems. Those moves were set to save more than $120 million by late 2013, according to the state. The committee also has tackled measures to improve state software purchasing, promote electronic payments, and simplify business licensing and permitting.

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U.S. Ranks 8th in Citizen Satisfaction With Digital Government

 The United States ranks eighth out of 10 countries surveyed about citizens’ satisfaction with digital government services, according to a study released on Wednesday by the consulting firm Accenture.

The ranking trails the top-rated United Arab Emirates as well as Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Norway, the United Kingdom, India and Germany.

The U.S. topped the list, however, in the maturity of its digital services and in researchers’ experience using those services.

Americans’ low satisfaction levels may be partly due to a sense that digital government services are aimed more at cutting costs than on providing better services for citizens, the researchers speculate.

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Data breaches a hot topic on the Hill

 Committees in both houses of Congress are holding hearings this week on the recent spate of consumer data breaches, and legislative proposals being discussed would bring more business data under the jurisdiction of federal rules.

The scope of the breaches, with as many as 110 million Target customer records and more than 1 million credit card files at Nieman Marcus, is generating significant activity among legislators and regulators. But it remains to be seen how much appetite exists in Congress to increase the scope of the federal rules governing data containing personally identifiable information.

The Senate Judiciary Committee and the Cybersecurity Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee are hosting nearly identical panels of witnesses at hearings on Feb. 5 and Feb. 6, respectively, with representatives of Target and Nieman Marcus, law enforcement agencies, regulators and private-sector security experts set to testify.

The breaches under discussion are squarely in the private sector. Data-breach notification has heretofore not been a federal responsibility, with most states having their own rules. California's is generally considered the strictest, and was recently updated to require reporting of breaches that include disclosure of usernames and passwords, in addition to Social Security numbers and financial information.

Congress has grappled with the issue in the past, but efforts to pass legislation have foundered on whether to give the federal government authority to require companies to comply with data-protection standards.

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