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DIR Program Nominated for NASCIO Award

The Department of Information Resources (DIR) was nominated for its Regional Security Operations Center Pilot Project.

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) has named Texas as one of 31 finalists for its State IT Recognition Awards.

The state was nominated under the "Cross-Boundary Collaboration and Partnerships" category for its Regional Security Operations Center (RSOC) Pilot Project, also known as Boots on the Ground.

Headed by the Department of Information Resources (DIR), Boots on the Ground was born from Senate Bill 475, which the Texas Legislature passed in 2021.

The following year, DIR partnered with Angelo State University (ASU) to create and operate the pilot RSOC, which officially opened in January 2023.

The role of each RSOC is to provide 24/7/365 cybersecurity monitoring and resources to local governments within up to 12 economic regions.

The program also aims to expand candidate pools for tech positions, according to DIR Chief People and Culture Officer Lisa Jammer.

House Bill 584, which was authored by Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R-98) and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott on Sept. 1, further builds upon the pilot project’s efforts to address the state’s information resources workforce shortages by allowing public junior college districts to partner with DIR to offer programs leading to a state information technology credential.

According to the bill, students in programs approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board must complete a one-year apprenticeship with an appropriate department, another relevant state agency and “an organization working on a major information resources project” or an established RSOC.

Recipients of the 2023 NASCIO State IT Recognition Awards will be announced during the NASCIO Annual Conference in October in Minneapolis.
Chandler Treon is an Austin-based staff writer. He has a bachelor’s degree in English, a master’s degree in literature and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in technical communication, all from Texas State University.