IPMA News -- March 2001

Edited By Bob Monn and Dennis Jones

State of Washington Implementing Windows 2000 Server

DSHS Sponsors Seminar on Digital Certificates

February 8, 2001 IPMA Board Meeting


State of Washington Implementing Windows 2000 Server

--by Phil Grigg, Assistant Director, Information Services, Dept. of General Administration

The state has embarked on a major co-operative effort, which will tie our network operating systems together. As we move to the next generation of network technology, we can choose to implement the operating systems separately within each agency; or in a co-operative manner with a digital state perspective. The Customer Advisory Board (CAB) has chosen to follow the latter strategy. The state will be defined as a single enterprise forest with a common Active Directory, which we will all share.

The project is in full swing for a number of participating agencies under recently appointed project manager Lance Calisch from DIS. Here is a quick summary of the initiative in a question-and-answer format:

What is Active Directory?

Active Directory is a general-purpose directory that combines elements of network services, security and diverse applications. It holds the promise of improving the efficiency of directory management by making it available to numerous applications, clients and networks within the State of Washington. We can all benefit from this concept by agreeing on a common directory schema and implementing our agency networks within the state’s single forest. The result should be a reduction in the need for many single use directories and in the management of data.

Who is Currently Implementing Windows 2000 Server in the Enterprise?

Labor and Industries, Personnel, Social and Health Services, Financial Management, Licensing, Information Services, Emergency Management, Financial Institutions, Employment Security and General Administration are all working together to define the environment. The Office of Financial Management and the State Auditor are observers in the project and are participating on the Steering Committee.

The Windows 2000 Steering Committee has been constituted by the CAB to oversee the project, resolve issues and approve the Active Directory design for the state.

What will the Team Implement?

The development team will implement the Windows 2000 Server Multi Agency Root for the enterprise State of Washington. The state will implement a common Active Directory on the root. The root schema will then be duplicated to all other domains participating in the statewide forest. Each agency will be responsible for its own domain defined as part of the enterprise forest. Changes to the schema will be governed by the Windows 2000 Steering Committee.

When Will the Forest be Implemented?

The statewide root is currently anticipated to be in production for the participating agencies this May 31st.

What is a Possible Integration Example of the Statewide Active Directory?

There is a detailed discussion occurring which would use Active Directory to benefit the entire state. The discussion is focused on the deployment of a common employee file we would use for validation purposes with diverse applications such as travel, leave, purchasing etc. DOP, OFM, DIS and GA are engaged in this conceptual discussion. The idea is to use common elements about an employee and place SQL-like calls from our applications to the enterprise Active Directory. These applications can benefit from a single repository, which can be easily accessed. The discussion is being facilitated by Dennis Jones from OFM.

Can Other Agencies Join the Forest at a Later Date?

Yes. A key deliverable from the project will be a Service Level Agreement defined by DIS to facilitate management of a production environment. Agencies can join the root as long as they agree to the game rules by which we all must live.

Do We Have To Join the Statewide Forest?

No. There is no mandate to join the forest. We hope that an agency will join because it is in its own best interest. The CAB has been clear on this point.

Where Can We Find Information About the Project?

DIS has developed a Web page where summary project documentation can be found. This includes timelines, high level design documents, white papers and frequently asked questions. See http://sww.wa.gov/win2k/.

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DSHS Sponsors Seminar on Digital Certificates

--by Wendy Huff, e-Government Specialist, DSHS e-Center

Digital certificates are electronic credentials that allow users to prove their identity during online transactions. Using digital certificates, users can send legally binding "signed" documents on the Internet without having to follow up with a signed paper document. This technology enables both parties involved in an electronic transaction to trust the authenticity and enforceability of the transaction.

Digital certificate technology is a key element of the Washington State’s security infrastructure and will give citizens and businesses the ability to complete secure transactions with the state using the Internet.

In response to numerous requests for information about digital certificates, the DSHS e-Center sponsored an educational seminar January 31, 2001. The high-level presentation, held in the OB-2 Auditorium, was geared towards anyone responsible for planning, approving, developing or managing web applications. The e-Center was pleased to be able to extend the invitation to others outside of DSHS. Approximately 200 program managers, project managers, IT managers, and technical professionals from various agencies and the Digital Academy e-Forms course attended the seminar.

Representatives from the Department of Information Services, Digital Signature Trust, Labor and Industries, and DSHS were available to share information and answer audience questions. Topics included an overview of digital certificates and digital signatures, information on how to obtain certificates, general instructions on how to use certificates in web applications, and demonstrations of early adopter applications.

Highlights from the seminar:

The seminar was well received and highly evaluated by the audience. The DSHS e-Center plans to sponsor more seminars in the future. Topics being considered are e-Forms, Content Management, and Web Accessibility.

For more information about the e-Center, contact Sue Langen at (360) 902-7767 or by email at langese@dshs.wa.gov. For information about e-Government efforts in DSHS, visit the e-Government web pages at http://techzone.dshs.wa.gov/ and click on the e-Government link.

[About the DSHS e-Center: DSHS completed its e-Government Strategic Planning Project in the Spring of 2000. The project introduced several possible models for an effective e-Government organization. In the model selected for DSHS, a central competency center co-exists alongside Executive leadership and in partnership with Administration representatives. Together, these groups coordinate, support and accelerate the development of e-Government with the organization. As recommended in the Strategic Planning Project, the DSHS e-Center was created to provide leadership, coordinate agency-wide efforts, develop best practices, facilitate communication, and provide other services that support e-Government efforts across DSHS.]

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February 8, 2001 Board Meeting

Members Present: Jim Albert, Mary Ellen Bradley, Phil Grigg, Sheryl Hall, Dennis Jones, Dennis Laine, Mike McVicker, Bob Monn, and Shelagh Taylor.

Shelagh Taylor, IPMA Chair, opened the February meeting of the IPMA Board of Directors at 7:38 a.m.

Reports

Secretary/Treasurer: The minutes from the January 2001 Board meeting were approved.

Phil Coates presented the January 2001 financial status and activities reports for the Secretary/Treasurer. The Board approved the reports.

Business Planning: Mary Ellen Bradley presented the Merrill Lynch account summary report and suggested that a discussion of the makeup of the IPMA investment portfolio be added to the agenda for the board planning retreat in March.

Executive Seminar: No Report

Forum: Jim Albert reported on the status of preparations for the 2001 Forum. Three new corporate sponsors have signed on for this year bringing the total to 21. It also looks like there will be no trouble filling the 44 available vendor booths, since 21 vendors have already reserved their space. This is well ahead of the pace for past years. There was some discussion regarding a policy about state agency payment for vendor booth space.

Despite some technical difficulties, the questionnaire process of getting potential Forum attendee input regarding breakout sessions proved to be a good idea. As a result of that input several sessions will be changed.

St. Martin’s has requested that the IPMA purchase a piece of equipment for St. Martin’s in lieu of part of the lease payment for the facility. Provided such an action doesn’t cause IPMA a tax problem, the board agreed to the proposal. Jim Albert and Jim Andersen will be notified of the tax accountants opinion.

It was suggested that a meeting be scheduled with corporate sponsors and appropriate IPMA board members to discuss IPMA’s plans for the coming year and possible opportunities for involvement of the sponsors.

The one lingering problem remains the identification and commitment of keynote speakers for both days of the Forum. Mike McVicker had a couple of suggestions that Jim Albert was going to pursue.

Professional Development: Dennis Laine reported that once the IPMA has its tax exempt status officially approved, monthly or quarterly events could be scheduled at the St. Martin’s Worthington Center.

Communications: Bob Monn reported that the Annual Report is progressing nicely and a draft will be ready for the board retreat in March.

The IPMA web server was unavailable for several hours on Monday, February 5, following the e-mail notification for the February issue of IPMA News and an e-mail request to prospective Forum attendees to respond to the questionnaire. The problems were resolvedby the Internet access provider for the web hosting service used by IPMA.

New Business:

IPMA Philanthropy: On behalf of the board, Phil Coates will attend the dedication of the South Puget Sound Community College Student Union building March 1, 2001, and write an article for the IPMA News. Dennis Laine will attend the dedication of the new St. Martin’s library March 31, 2001 and will also write an article for the IPMA News.

The March board meeting is canceled because of the board retreat March 1 & 2, 2001.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 a.m.

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