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In 1997, in an effort to provide a means for our major service delivery agencies to share information and coordinate their efforts, and with a vision to create a countywide information system, this Board created the Information Resources Management Commission. This was done to bring together information technology experts from the fields of education, human/social services, health/emergency services, governmental agencies, and public safety to develop a strategic plan to connect their various public and private agencies together with each other, the citizens of this county, and the world. Our goal was to foster instantaneous global exchange of information including text, images, and sounds. Several initiatives which originated with the I.R.M.C. are:

1. The Integrated Law Enforcement System, which is presently being developed, and which should go on line shortly to service the Sheriff's Department and the Prosecutor, and to provide a means of sharing information electronically with local police agencies, which choose to participate.

2. The development of the county intranet, which has helped to streamline our internal operation.

3. Development of a county web site, which will be operational before the end of the year, and which will make our County Government more accessible and user-friendly for its residents.

4. A county e-mail network, which will also be operational this year.

5. The advanced county telecommunication system, originally installed in the new County Administration Building, and which is now being extended to all county satellite facilities, using a voice over frame tele-communications technology, which has reduced our operating costs for telephone service and which has given us the ability to support voice, data, video over our local and wide-area networks.

For these significant accomplishments we extend our thanks to the members of the I.R.M.C. and to its Chairman, Dr. Stuart Schnur. Without his conscientious leadership we would not have been able to progress so far so quickly.

It has become clear, through the workings of the I.R.M.C., that specific areas of service delivery have specific networking needs and requirements. Consequently, a need has developed for specialty sub-committees in each service delivery area to develop mini- or sub-networks for each of those service delivery areas, with the goal being to link each of those mini- or sub-networks using one or more hubs, and then to link those hubs together so that each service area network will also become part of a larger countywide network. The subject of the resolution on tonight's agenda is to reorganize the I.R.M.C. into those required sub-committees.

When the Middlesex County information super-highway is created, it will provide many advantages to enable our service delivery agencies to provide their services more efficiently and cost effectively, and provide the ability for them to expand the services offered. Some of the advantages this mega network will offer are:

This is an extremely exciting project and can result in the Middlesex County Administration becoming the hub, or focal point, of service delivery throughout the county and possibly providing services such as internet access and e-mail to the constituent participating municipalities and service delivery agencies. It is my plan, over the next several months, to come back before this Board, as a liaison to the I.R.M.C., to make it aware of exciting new initiatives and to solicit its support for the implementation of several of those initiatives in the 2001 Capital Budget.

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