After breakfast, I sat-in on the annual GMIS Business Meeting. It was expected to use only about half of its allotted one and a half hour time slot, but actually over-ran, with much debate of the budget.

However, the Association seemed in good shape, and the conference was slated to return a profit. GMIS has a President and four Vice Presidents "promoted" each year, in the same way as Socitm's ,and I was interested to observe that the State that organises the annual conference provides the year's new Vice President. Ken Keene, from Kansas, was voted President, taking-over from Utah's Bruce Miller.

The rest of the morning was spent in sessions on EDRM (Electronic Document Records Management) and e-Discovery.

There were some interesting presentations, in the afternoon, on communications. The New Jersey Police seem quite advanced; systems like CCTV are supplemented by sound monitoring that automatically alerts with the location and calibre of any fire-arms discharge!

The closing keynote was given by Cathilea Robinett – Executive Director of the Centre for Digital Government. During the course of her presentation she compared the top 10 priorities of the National Association of CIOs with Gartner's. They were very different; Gartner's top two topics – Green IT and Unified Communications – did not even appear in the NASCIO's list.

The Centre for Digital Government runs an annual "Bet of the Web" competition that sounds similar to Socitm's Better Connected. Its current winner – www.vbgov.com – features just three main "buttons" – Search, Customer Services & 311.

Cathilea spoke about "Government's Long Tail" – niche services, diverse interests…
Characteristics of Web 2.0:

  • Unbounded
  • Communities form around shared values
  • Narcissistic
  • The need for reliable, authoritative and trustworthy sites…

In the evening, the annual awards banquet – "an evening with Thomas Edison" - was held at the Renault Winery – second oldest in the country.

Throughout the evening, an actor played Edison telling the story of his inventions and his views on innovation, who broke-off, occasionally, to introduce other speakers.

Many of the delegates received CGCIO (Charted Government CIO) graduate awards from a University programme associated with GMIS. There was a moving tribute to John Moody, the GMIS Executive Secretary until his sudden death, last year, shortly after he had organised for this year's conference to be held in his home state.