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Panel Backs Cybersecurity Bid

by Michael R. Wickline, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

October 29, 2021

The state’s federal coronavirus relief aid steering committee Thursday endorsed requests by two agencies to reallocate a total of $2 million in federal funds and another agency’s request for up to $1.34 million to improve cybersecurity protections.

The 15-member Arkansas Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act was appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson in March 2020 to recommend the best uses of $1.25 billion in federal funds.

The committee recommended approval of the state Department of Human Services’ request to reallocate $1.088 million in unspent federal funds to use for covid-19 assistance at the Arkansas State Hospital.

The department requested the reallocation for contracts for direct care personnel to enable the State Hospital to maintain staffing for its mission of providing acute psychiatric services to its clients, as well as to procure supplies to serve staffers and beneficiaries, the department said in its written request for the funds.

The steering committee voted to recommend approval of the state Department of Commerce’s request to reallocate $923,887 of its unspent federal coronavirus relief funds to the unemployment insurance administration.

The state has $1.069 million in federal coronavirus relief funds returned by state agencies to redistribute, said steering committee chairwoman Elizabeth Smith, who is secretary of the state Department of Inspector General.

The steering committee recommended approval of the state Department of Transformation and Shared Services’ request for up to $1.34 million in federal funds to augment the cybersecurity protections for the overall technology infrastructure, including a new data center.

Read the full article HERE.

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