June 2017
Blockchains - Coming Your Way!
Eric Sweden, Program Director, 
Enterprise Architecture & Governance

Blockchain seems to be a magic word to open conversations in almost every sector.  That's certainly the case in state government.  NASCIO will be presenting a trend setting   webinar on June 22nd with the team from the Illinois Blockchain Initiative.  States are constantly looking for ways to improve the delivery of government services using secured, reliable channels that protect our citizens identity and which prevent fraud, waste and abuse.

Blockchain technology and economics are transformational and will require some transformational activities in preparation for employing blockchains.  Most of the activity will be focused on the technology.  But looming on the horizon are the economic opportunities and impacts.  For now, we watching states like Illinois to learn the benefits and the challenges related to blockchains.  Running in parallel with state activity in this space are the initiatives in industry.  Some of NASCIO's corporate partners have their own blockchain initiatives and we'll be learning from these initiatives going forward.

The NASCIO Enterprise Architecture & Governance Committee has been spending much of our monthly conference calls talking about blockchains.  We've had presentations from a variety of companies in addition to the state of Illinois.  Most recent was a presentation from Mark Fisk, a partner with IBM and IBM's Blockchain Leader.  All of these presentations are archived in the library for the EA&G Online Community.  So with the energy and investment behind blockchain initiatives, there are new job roles and job titles.  Will there someday be a Chief Blockchain Officer or some similar title?  Possibly.

Be sure to download our first issue brief on this topic and read our early recommendations and key questions. Blockchains Moving Digital Government Forward in the States

We welcome your ideas and your participation in our ongoing discussion of blockchain.  We're recruiting presentations from all our members.  Stay tuned, there is more coming....

Watch on Washington Top 5

  1. Elections systems = critical infrastructure, still. At a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing on June 6, DHS Secretary John Kelly reiterated his support for the designation, adding that he planned to meet with  state homeland security the following week to discuss the designation.This comes on the heels of leaked intelligence documents describing foreign attempts to hack voting systems. Read the National Association of Secretaries of State response on the foreign spear-phishing attempts here.
  2. FirstNet opt-out procedures released by FCC . On June 1, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released their Report & Order (R&O) detailing the process by which they will evaluate an opt-out state's alternative plans. Notably, the FCC is considering adding 60 days to the 180-day period for opt-out states to finalize their RFPs. The FCC will vote on (and finalize) the R&O on June 22.     
  3. FirstNet state portal and marketing terms of use (ToU) released; some states respond. On May 30, FirstNet released the final terms of use for accessing the state plan portal though which states will receive their state-specific plans. Some states have expressed concerns with aspects of the ToU. Of note, Washington State has sent a letter to FirstNet outlining its concerns which include a short timeframe for review and requests in the ToU that conflict with state law. States must sign the ToU in order to access draft state plans to be released later this month. 
  4. FirstNet: OK to opt-in as soon as state receives plan in June. FirstNet representatives are no longer using the term "draft state plan" and instead aim to deliver "the most, complete, actionable state plan possible" so that once governors receive the plan later this month, the plan can be accepted immediately if no changes are proposed. Read more here.      
  5. U.S. Health and Human Services announces cyber center post-WannaCry. During an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on June 8, HHS officials discussed "lessons learned" from the WannCry ransomware attacks. HHS also spoke about the establishment of the Healthcare Cybersecurity Communications Integration Center or HCCIC which is modeled after the NCCIC at DHS. The HCCIC was formed on the advice of DHS to improve the sharing of cyber threat indicators with the healthcare industry.
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NASCIO has been out and about - check out where we've been the last month. 
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Honor a Technology InnovatorAward

This award honors outstanding individuals who have made contributions to advance state technology policy through the promotion of best practices, adoption of new technologies and advancements in service delivery. Nominations due Friday, June 30.

NASCIO members and non-members may nominate an employee, elected official, appointed official or other appointee representing state government.
Review Details & Submit a Nominee > 

IdeaHave an Idea for the Annual Conference?

Submit your ideas and suggestions for session topics, speakers and session formats by Monday, June 19. 

Your submission can be as simple as a sentence or two describing your idea.
NASCIO does not issue a formal call for proposals; ideas corralled during Idea Roundup will inform the programs committee as they shape the conference program. Submit Idea > 

State of Washington Technology Employer of Choice Initiative
(NASCIO 2016 State IT Recognition Award Recipient)