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DHS says state and local cyber help is coming

The Department of Homeland Security is scheduled this week to take several steps aimed at bolstering state and local cybersecurity as part of a broader effort to raise the issue across government at levels. Among the changes DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will announce is an increase in the minimum amount that recipients of the department's grants are required to spend on cybersecurity. The department also announced that CISA will "urgently evaluate and implement additional capabilities" to support state and local governments, including a potential grant program of its own. Benjamin Freed reports

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Dept. of IT Failures Having Real Consequences

Faulty software used by the Arizona Department of Corrections has kept hundreds of inmates eligible for release in prison, despite officials knowing about the glitches for more than a year, according to a whistleblower report made public Monday. KJZZ, an NPR affiliate in Phoenix, reported that the department’s inmate management software was not adjusted to accommodate a 2019 state law designed to make it easier for nonviolent convicts to earn an early release, despite employees notifying the agency’s top IT and administrative leaders. Corrections employees have already found more than 700 inmates who've been locked up longer than they should have under the new law. Read more.

ICYMI: Jim Weaver on the move

Washington CIO Jim Weaver is scheduled to move to North Carolina to take over its Department of Information Technology, both state governments announced last week. In Washington, where he arrived in 2018 after nearly 30 years in Pennsylvania,  he was tasked with turning around an IT agency that had a reputation of being autocratic and uncommunicative. When he moves to North Carolina, he'll lead an agency that's gone through three statewide CIOs in the past 12 months. Colin Wood has more.

7 ways COVID-19 data efforts have failed

Throughout the pandemic, governors, mayors and other leaders have tried to burnish their abilities to manage a crisis by arming themselves with data. But many times, states governments have hindered their COVID-19 responses by hiding statistics, politicizing data or failing to collect reliable demographic information. From New York to Florida to elsewhere, bungled data efforts have been easy to find. See the full list.

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