Maryland Gov. Wes Moore has announced plans for four major actions that are aimed at transforming digital experience in state government.

According to the governor’s office, the transformation effort is focused on the responsible use of artificial intelligence technologies, user-centered design in digital services, ensuring equal access to all information technology, and protecting Maryland’s digital infrastructure through enhanced intergovernmental partnerships.

The Maryland Department of Information Technology is tasked with spearheading the transformation effort.

“In our first year, we learned that it isn’t enough to rebuild state government – we need to modernize state government too,” said Gov. Moore.

“Together, we will improve the experience that Marylanders have on state websites to make it easier to access state resources; together, we will ensure that all state services are accessible to the public – including individuals with disabilities; and together, we will bolster cybersecurity across the public sector so we remain safe from cyberattacks,” the governor said.

“By modernizing state government, we will better meet our constituent needs, we will better address our community challenges, and we will better assert Maryland’s leadership in this decade,” he said.

The first major action will be an Artificial Intelligence Executive Order from Gov. Moore to “direct the foundational work to catalyze the responsible and productive use of artificial intelligence by state agencies.” The state said that the executive order also establishes an AI Subcabinet that will develop and implement a comprehensive AI action plan to operationalize the state’s AI principles and create appropriate “guard rails” for agencies’ use of AI. The AI Subcabinet will also promote AI knowledge, skills, and talent in state government.

Second, the Maryland Department of Information Technology will create the Maryland Digital Service, which will support state agency needs with a team of state product managers, user researchers, designers and engineers. The team will support website and application redesigns and discovery efforts for agencies to inform more accurate and agile procurements. It also will focus on well-designed and user-centered digital experiences to increase trust in government, decrease the cost to serve citizens, and support agencies in delivering on their missions.

The state government will also issue a Digital Accessibility policy, which is intended to ensure equal access to state-procured and developed information technology and services for all Marylanders.

Finally, the state will establish a Cybersecurity Task Force, which will bring together cybersecurity experts from the Maryland Department of Information Technology, the Maryland Military Department, and the Maryland Department of Emergency Management in coordination with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security. The goal of the task force is to foster a whole-of-government approach to proactive cybersecurity within the state of Maryland.

“The collective actions we are announcing today are the beginning of where we need to go as a state and a nation,” said Maryland Department of Information Technology Secretary Katie Savage. “To be competitive and include everyone in our success, we must embrace new technology while ensuring it is secure and accessible to all.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs