Pennsylvania Earns Four 2013 Computerworld Honors Laureates

Mar 27, 2013, 10:15 ET from Pennsylvania Office of Administration from ,Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare

PA Justice Network and Department of Public Welfare Recognized in Global Competition

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Justice Network (JNET) and the Department of Public Welfare have been named 2013 Laureates by IDG's Computerworld Honors Program. 

Computerworld honored JNET for developing an application that streamlines the conducting of background checks.  DPW won three Laureates for three innovative applications: standardization of incident reports involving the elderly or disabled, upgraded safeguards of citizen's personal information, and improved government efficiency through an interstate collaboration.

Nearly 40,000 police officers and other criminal justice professionals use JNET to access information from state, federal and local data sources through a secure web portal. 

"The Federated Background Check application enhances the efficiency and safety of law enforcement professionals throughout Pennsylvania," Dave Naisby, Executive Director of JNET said.  "In addition to its value in conducting investigations, the application also allows agencies to run background checks on new hires and existing employees.  All of these benefits translate to less time working behind a desk and more time protecting our communities."

The Federated Background Check application allows users to access data from three state agencies, nine state departments of motor vehicles, and criminal records and warrants from all 50 states through a single, unified search.  Previously, users had to query 11 separate databases to get the same information.  By reducing redundant search efforts, this new approach saves time, reduces errors and alleviates frustration caused by making multiple inquiries and sorting through disparate search results.

"JNET continues to enhance public safety through the development of innovative applications and enhancements to existing applications. The Federated Background Check builds on JNET's existing infrastructure and previous successes in developing applications to consolidate address, warrant and photo searches," Pennsylvania Chief Information Officer Tony Encinias said.  "We're honored that Computerworld has recognized JNET for a third straight year from a field that includes corporations, governments and non-profits from across the globe."    

Learn more about the Pennsylvania Justice Network at

The Computerworld Laureates awarded to the Department of Public Welfare reflect its mission to serve Pennsylvanians most in need while also improving government efficiencies:

  • The Technology Risk Management system is a big advancement in protecting citizen private information by proactively identifying security risks to reduce identity theft exposure.
  • The Enterprise Incident Management system has streamlined the process used by nearly 2,500 Medical Assistance providers to report incidents or complaints filed in connection with over 30,000 elderly or disabled who rely on long-term care.
  • The Medical Assistance Provider Incentive Repository system was developed as a collaboration among 13 states to allow providers to apply for incentive payments to adopt and implement Electronic Health Records.  The goal of the incentive program is to improve the efficiency of the health care system and ultimately patient health outcomes.

"These computer advancements reflect our never-ending efforts to make technology work for taxpayers and for the people we serve," Acting Secretary Beverly Mackereth said. "Our department serves a diverse group of people through a diverse number of programs and superior technology is crucial for us to continue to meet our ever-evolving needs."

For 25 years, the Computerworld Honors Program has recognized organizations that use information technology to promote positive social, economic and educational change.  This is the third year in a row that JNET has received the award.

The Laureate class of 2013 has 269 members.  The top five Laureates from each category become finalists for the 21st Century Achievement Awards.  One finalist from each category is then named for the award.  In 2012, JNET earned a 21st Century Achievement Award for its use of facial recognition technology to help enforcement identify criminal suspects and witnesses.

Learn more about the Computerworld Honors Program at

Media contact: Dan Egan, Office of Administration 717-772-4237
Department of Public Welfare, Donna Kirker Morgan  717-214-1876

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of Administration; Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare