Joint Commission on Technology and Science
The Joint Commission
on Technology and Science (JCOTS) held its first meeting of the 2005 Interim
on May 4, 2005. Members are Delegates Joe T. May (chairman), Kenneth R.
Plum, Harry R. Purkey, Samuel A. Nixon, Thomas D. Rust, Kenneth C. Alexander,
and John A. Cosgrove and Senators Stephen D. Newman (vice-chairman), Janet
Howell, William C. Wampler, Jr., Kenneth W. Stolle, and John Watkins.
JCOTS was created
as a permanent legislative agency in 1997 at the recommendation of a Joint
Legislative Task Force on Science and Technology in order to provide leadership
in collecting, managing, and monitoring reliable and accurate information
about science and technology. Since its inception, JCOTS has sought to
examine and implement sound technology and science-related public policy
for the Commonwealth. JCOTS continues to work to identify emerging technology
issues with a goal of proactively creating public policy.
the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA), Diane Horvath, Susan
Wooley, and Jeff Deason, briefed the members on the current work and initiatives
of VITA. VITA is launching a transformation of service delivery by consolidating,
standardizing, and leveraging a common information technology (IT) infrastructure
The Council on Virginia's Future, in collecting data for a move towards
performance-based budgeting, has identified a number of agencies involved
in repetitive services. Members asked for more information regarding the
evaluation and creation of an enterprise architecture (a business-based
framework for government-wide improvement) in the Commonwealth.
Ms. Horvath explained
that, through the Information Technology Investment Board (ITIB) and the
Chief Information Officer structure, VITA works to improve oversight of
IT investments in the Commonwealth. The agency provides 100 interactive
services online through Virginia Interactive. In 2004, the virginia.gov
portal was accessed 32 million times. VITA also provides $1.3 million
annually in free web design, consulting, accessibility, and host services
for state agencies, as well as localities. Localities have realized an
$8 million cost savings in IT investments.
Ms. Wooley briefed
JCOTS on VITA's sourcing strategy efforts and the agency's four-pronged
- Collaborate with
agencies to meet specific needs, providing consulting and oversight
- Provide full-service,
end-to-end assistance by managing sourcing and
establishing direct supplier relationships through Commonwealth Enterprise
- Create partnerships
in order to foster efficient operations through statewide prime contractor
- Provide self-service
tools and IT capabilities with easy access.
Due to budgetary
issues, VITA anticipates an overall rate increase for services over the
next few years. In 2005, VITA received $500,000, earmarked for the Virginia
Base Mapping Program. The Governor recommended an appropriation of over
$8 million. VITA anticipates that rates will rise to $9.9 million for
fiscal year 2006, $10.9 million for fiscal year 2007, and fall to $5.3
for fiscal year 2008.
There was a brief
discussion regarding eVA, Virginia's e-procurement system. The members
were concerned about the difficulty vendors experienced in using eVA and
suggested that the CIO be made aware of their concerns. The current rate
structure of eVA was also addressed. Ms. Horvath indicated that administrative
fees were established as a cost-recovery method and that the eVA system
is currently self-funded.
The security of electronic
databases is an issue of increasing concern both in the Commonwealth and
across the country. Mr. Deason briefed JCOTS on its enterprise security
program. There are three key elements of ensuring security of the Commonwealth's
databases: (i) protection, through the establishment of effective incident
management and the creation of a secure infrastructure; (ii) security
awareness, through information security training; and (iii) program compliance,
through the development of security policies, standards and procedures,
and risk management.
Ms. Horvath next
reported on the status of proposals received by VITA under the Public-Private
Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002 (§ 56-575.1 et
seq. of the Code of Virginia). VITA will review proposals from IBM and
Northrop Grumman addressing infrastructure and proposals from CGI-AMS
and IBM addressing enterprise applications. The infrastructure proposals
relate to the hardware, networks, associated services and staff required
to support the information systems that agencies use to operate and provide
services to citizens. The enterprise architecture proposals relate to
the business processes and software applications used across state government
to provide management and administrative support within agencies, such
as human resource management, accounting, and procurement. VITA's goal
is to complete negotiations by October 2005.
Ms. Horvath explained
VITA's efforts to create a statewide enterprise business architecture
that would lead to better citizen services, more economic development
opportunities, and increased cost savings. The architecture would allow
VITA to operate a common, standardized IT infrastructure that would allow
the Commonwealth to shift resources from infrastructure support to service
JCOTS staff provided
a brief review of technology initiatives in other states, as well as the
status of the bills recommended by JCOTS to the 2005 Session of the General
Assembly. For a list of all science and technology related legislation,
see the JCOTS website.
JCOTS Work Plan
The work plan includes
the creation of four advisory committees focusing on privacy, emerging
technology, nanotechnology, and integrated government. Issues referred
by the General Assembly to JCOTS for study include the use of electronic
toll collection, off-shoring, the use of cell phones while driving, breach
of databases, and intellectual property commercialization. For a complete
list of study topics see the complete work plan posted on the JCOTS website.
Future meeting dates
have not been set, but will be posted on the JCOTS website as soon as
The Hon. Joe T.