2014-01-10 / Opinion

Website Revisited

To the Editor:

I am responding to a letter in the Jan. 3 edition of Newport This Week where Mr. C. Andrews Lavarre identified an example of fraud, waste or abuse and linked the cause of the problem cited in that example to the Secretary of State as “the responsible politician over [the superior] that” is unaware of the problem or chooses to ignore it. I have carefully reviewed the letter and agree that the issues you addressed certainly can and should be corrected. However, it was incorrectly assumed that these issues are within the jurisdiction of the Office of Secretary of State. This office engages its own IT department, over which I take full responsibility. I work diligently to ensure that the Office of Secretary of State remains on the cutting edge of government technological advances.

The issues raised about the Department of Health have nothing to do with the Office of Secretary of State. I maintain control only over my IT department, all others are independent and outside of the Secretary of State's jurisdiction. The IT department within this office is sufficiently staffed and professionally managed. The programs we make available are browser agnostic, meaning the service is compatible with all modern browsers and some are even optimized to work on smart phones and tablets.

I further agree that there are solutions to the problems that were identified, but the correction of the problems remains within those specified departments. Although the issues probed are outside of the scope of the Office of Secretary of State, I will take the liberty of forwarding the comments to Mr. Thom Guertin, the Chief Digital Officer for Rhode Island, in the hope that he might better respond to the specific concerns regarding the Department of Health website and other issues over which I have no control.

I would like to thank the writer for his concern and advice. It is always rewarding when citizens that I am elected to represent choose to become part of the solution by offering expertise in a variety of areas.

A. Ralph Mollis Secretary of State

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