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Rhode Island gets a C+

Cloud migration enabled Rhode Island’s labor department to “barely stay above water” at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic amid a flood of unemployment insurance claims, officials said during the Code for America’s Summit this week. Before the health crisis, the state's unemployment system lived on an old COBOL mainframe with requirement, and required claimants to certify their eligibility weekly. The system quickly had to scale up, with spotty results, officials now admit. "It’s nice to think that Rhode Island did a great job, but we were C+. We weren’t giving great service,” Scott Jensen, the former director of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, said during the event. Ryan Johnston reports.

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Steve Harris exiting Dell

After more than two decades with Dell Technologies, Steve Harris is leaving the tech giant to become the chief revenue officer at higher education IT firm Ellucian, he announced Thursday. "Having served the education sector for most of my career, I am acutely aware of the challenges facing many institutions, as well as the opportunities that result from implementing a modern technology strategy," he said according to an internal memo. Since 1998, Harris has taken on a number of leadership roles with Dell, mostly focused on building the firm’s business with public sector organizations, rising to his current role as senior vice president and general manager of public sector. Billy Mitchell has more at FedScoop.

Florida man happy with software

Officials in St. Johns County, Florida, on Thursday announced a new contract with the software company TrueRoll that has they say will ensure property owners were eligible for tax exemptions receive their benefits. The platform, which the county began using in March, grants the local government with easy access to out-of-state records it couldn’t see previously, county property appraiser Eddie Creamer told StateScoop. “I believe taxation should be as fair, accurate and equitable as it can possibly be,” he said. Colin Wood has the story.

Miami-Dade County, Fla., appoints full-time CIO

Miami-Dade County, Florida, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava last month named Margaret Brisbane, who had been serving as interim chief information officer, to the position on a permanent basis. Brisbane had spent 14 years as the assistant IT director of Miami-Dade County prior to her appointment as interim CIO late last year. She’s the first woman and woman of color to run the department, which Levine Cava said helps diversify the county’s senior leadership and advance talent from within the administration. Ryan has more.

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