Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, January 8, 2003
1:30 p.m.
Dept. of Banking and Finance, Large Conference Room

  1. CIO Update — Steve Schafer.

    Mr. Schafer, Chief Information Officer for the State of Nebraska, addressed the group concerning current and future items that may be of interest to the state webmasters. The three topics focused on were (1) E-Government; (2) Security; and (3) Statewide Networking. Under E-Government, Schafer told the group about past and present initiatives and projects, such as the 2000 Strategic Plan, the forms inventory, the Business Portal, the Citizens Portal, the Education Portal, interactive license renewals, online payment portal (credit card, electronic checks, automated general ledger interface, shopping cart) and the Employee Portal.

    Other projects currently in progress include getting county web sites operating and the Secretary of State's initiative to post all rules and regulations online in a searchable format. Future projects listed under E-Government included: Citizen Portal features, Business Portal enhancements; NOL Annual Business Plan, E-Government Strategic update; and more integration between intergovernment processes (those that require input between federal, state, county and/or local governments). Schafer made a notation that the state's websites and portals are reverting to the .gov extension. That extension is now open to state government.

    Under the second key topic of Security, Schafer noted that passwords, security plans, incident reports, etc. are no longer a matter of public record due to legislative changes last year. Security information is available through the NITC policies and handbooks available on the NITC website. . These policies and standards, along with Incident Response and Reporting Procedures should be available through an agency's security officer. In addition, handbooks also exist for end users as well as for IT divisions on the subject of security.

    Incident reporting is particularly important, said Schafer, because (1) we cannot correct it unless we know about it; (2) it must be reported to law enforcement authorities for investigation and/or tracking; and (3) it is important to inform other agencies that may be affected. Schafer also spoke of the Security Awareness Training Pilot Project, which serves to elevate security awareness among all state employees. Licenses are still available for those that wish to explore this program. Anyone interested should contact either Schafer or Jerry Hielen with IMS regarding the program.

    Other items discussed were: Disaster Recovery Planning Guidelines and External Intrusion Security Assessment RFP. The External Intrusion Security Assessment involves the hiring of a vendor to hack into the state's network in an effort to discover and correct existing vulnerabilities. A vendor will be selected by the end of the week with the security tests beginning as early as the end of this month. Schafer also relayed that the state firewall is now in place.

    The third topic of Statewide Networking addressed the issue of combining resources among agencies and governments to provide more efficient and costly bandwidth services, routing networks and new technological implementation. Other networking projects include: the Shared Education Network; the Statewide Synchronous Video Network; and Telehealth. Among additional items of interest to webmasters, said Schafer, are how to secure programming code and the development of seamless integration applications that could be shared among agencies. Information can be obtained from the NITC website.

  2. Subcommittee Updates.

    • Website standards — none.
    • Archiving standards — none.
    • Mission statement — statement has been drafted and is available for group's input.

  3. Discuss Adoption of Mission Statement.

    Statement as submitted reads:

    "Our Mission is to strengthen communication and cooperation between entities regarding Internet and web related issues, including State of Nebraska policy development and integration. As a group, we strive to refine standards and enhance professional recognition and advancement for agency web personnel."

    It was suggested that the mission be changed to incorporate only the first sentence and that the word entities was too broad and should be replaced. There was considerable discussion regarding the job scope of a Webmaster and the purpose of the group. Some felt that the webmasters should not address anything beyond the required duties within the job or interaction between or among other agencies, governments and the general public. Others felt that the public nature of the website forces webmasters to account for interaction with other agencies, governments and the general public in performing his/her duties. Laura reminded the group that the adoption of a mission statement was suggested to help define the group and its goals and that the statement drafted was a reflection of the input received at previous meetings. It was determined that the mission statement subcommittee should meet again to refine the statement and present a preliminary list of goals/objectives to the group at the next meeting. (FYI — Past goals and objectives of the group are available at the Webmaster website.)

  4. Miscellaneous.

    Membership and voting guidelines. discussion delayed until the next meeting.

    allwebmenus.com. a software program that creates hierarchical web menus without a need to know html, JavaScript or other scripting languages.

    Webmaster website. Laura relayed that she has been given access to the site and will begin updating the information. Anyone who has suggestions or who is interested in helping can contact Laura.

    Webmaster survey. discussion delayed until the next meeting, but members were encouraged to submit input on survey topics.

  5. Adjourn.

Next Meeting

Tentatively scheduled for March 12, 2003.