Division of Legislative Services > Legislative Record > 2009

Joint Commission on Technology and Science

November 10, 2009

The Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS) Executive Committee met in Richmond with Delegate May calling the meeting to order.



Steve Walz, Director, Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME)
Mr. Walz provided an overview of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds for the Commonwealth. The State Energy Program received $76.5 million, which was the most flexible portion of funds received by the state. DMME referred to the Virginia Energy Plan to help determine how to spend the funds. One of the projects DMME is working on is getting approval for three funds that will be used to support small clean energy businesses.

The question was asked if there was sufficient notice to citizens on the availability of rebates for energy efficient appliances. Mr. Walz stated that with over half of the money already reserved, he felt the Governor has done a good job in generating press coverage for the program. Another member inquired about the total amount of ARRA funds and bonds dedicated to the Commonwealth. Mr. Walz estimated that the total for the Commonwealth exceeded $500 million.

Another member discussed the Loudon County Energy Plan and its focus on greenhouse gas reduction rather than energy conservation.

Mr. Walz responded to the question of whether there were any barriers in Virginia state government to increased renewable energy and energy efficiency. He stated that educating state employees is an important first step. Another barrier in reducing energy use is the reduction in the state workforce, which has left some energy issues lacking oversight or responsibility. Mr. Walz also stated it is important to construct new buildings as efficiently as economically possible given the lifespan of HVAC and other systems in state buildings. Mr. Walz concluded that he would welcome JCOTS’ and the General Assembly's input in the upcoming Virginia Energy Plan updates.


Ashley Colvin, JLARC, Project Leader, Review of Information Technology Services in Virginia
Mr. Colvin's presentation is available on the JCOTS website. A member noted that prior to the formation of VITA, agencies were procuring IT infrastructure and services on an individualized basis. By forming VITA, the Commonwealth was better positioned to leverage its procurement of IT infrastructure and services. The member also noted that consolidating postprocurement activities would result in greater efficiency and cost savings. It was noted that VITA does not have purview over all IT infrastructure and services in the Commonwealth. Mr. Colvin did not have data on out-of-scope expenditures compared to in-scope expenditures.

The question was asked as to whether there was any authority in the Code of Virginia for the Secretary or Deputy Secretary of Technology to engage in contract negotiations on the part of the Chief Information Officer (CIO). Mr. Colvin stated that no statutory authority exists for that type of action.

In reference to funding changes in the existing VITA/NG contract, it was asked if the General Assembly had the 'final word' when it comes to appropriating money to fund the changes. Staff explained that the appropriation act contains language authorizing a 'sum sufficient' for IT services, which complicates any increase in cost for contract negotiations. Because of the 'sum sufficient' language in the current budget, the CIO could obligate the Commonwealth to cost increases for increased services to agencies.

In response to the question about whether JLARC has any further data on severity level 1 incidents, Mr. Colvin responded that Northrop Grumman is going to look deeper to determine if there are any trends.

Another member inquired if data was available on the amount of time these incidents last. Mr. Colvin stated that the data is available but he would have to get back to the Commission at a later date.
Mr. Colvin noted that VITA is the only state supervisory board that does not meet on a regular basis and act as the fulltime coordinating body of an agency with a director acting as its agency head.


G. Stewart Petoe, Virginia State Crime Commission, Director of Legal Affairs
Mr. Petoe spoke on the issue of 'sexting.' The full presentation is available on the JCOTS website. Delegate May asked about the number of convictions under the current pornography law. Mr. Petoe stated he would provide this information to staff.

In response to the question of whether the Crime Commission looked at images being distributed against the will of one of the parties, Mr. Petoe stated the Commission did not look at that issue.


Delegate May requested that staff updates on Electronic Meetings; Intellectual Property: Development of State Employee Policy; and State eCycling Legislation be postponed until the final JCOTS meeting.

The Hon. Joe May

For information, contact:
Lisa Wallmeyer, DLS Staff

Division of Legislative Services > Legislative Record > 2009