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Michigan finally has a full-time CIO again

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday named Brom Stibitz, a longtime official in the state’s technology agency, as statewide chief information officer, filling a vacancy that had been open since Withmer’s inauguration in January 2019. Stibitz, who first joined the Michigan state government as a legislative aide in 2005, has spent the past five years as the chief deputy director of the Department of Technology, Management and Budget, which consolidates the state’s IT functions and procurement under a single, 3,000-person agency. The last permanent CIO, Dave DeVries, had also served as DTMB's director under former Gov. Rick Snyder, but the roles were split when Whitmer appointed real-estate executive Tricia Foster to run DTMB. Foster also got a new job last week, joining Whitmer's office to fill the newly created position of chief operating officer. Benjamin Freed has more.

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Indiana gets a new CIO, too

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Friday that Tracy Barnes, chief of staff to Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, will take over as the state’s top technology official at the end of the month. Barnes, who’s also held deputy auditor of operations and IT director roles with the state government, will fill a vacancy left by the October departure of Dewand Neely. (Robert Paglia, the Indiana Office of Technology's chief administrative officer, had been acting as interim CIO since Neely's resignation.) In a press release, Crouch credited Barnes with spearheading implementation of Indiana’s electronic grants management system, adding that he “transformed” how the state delivers broadband internet service to rural areas and challenged agencies to prioritize diversity and inclusion. Colin Wood reports.

D.C. adds cyber concerns to data-breach law

The city of Washington, D.C., is set to strengthen its data-breach laws following the passage this week of a bill that greatly expands the definition of personal identifying information that companies doing business in the District are required to protect. The bill adds passport numbers, military identifications, health and biometric data and genetic profiles — such as information shared with genealogical websites like 23andMe — to the categories of data that are protected under the District’s 2007 breach notification law. It also gives city prosecutors greater power against companies that expose their customers’ sensitive data, including the ability to go after companies that are found to have suffered data breaches because of weak cybersecurity patches. Ben has more details.

Majority of counties have slower wireless than FCC claims, study shows

More than 65 percent of counties across America experience the internet through wireless connections at slower speeds than are reported by the carriers that serve them, according to a new report from the National Association of Counties and other rural community-advocacy groups. The report, published this week during NACo’s annual legislative conference in Washington, is the latest strand of evidence showing that the coverage data provided by the Federal Communications Commission is largely inaccurate. Researchers used a mobile app to measure broadband connectivity in 78 percent of all counties, finding that most speeds are slower than those reported to and published by the FCC. Ryan Johnston reports.

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