Bill Summaries: S 284 COUNTY CYBERSEC./SATELLITE BROADBAND GRANTS. (NEW)

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  • Summary date: Jun 22 2020 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition. Deletes the content of the previous edition and replaces it with the following. 

    Section 1

    Directs the Information Technology Innovation Center (Center) to create a cybersecurity pilot program to establish and utilize public-private partnerships to provide cybersecurity support services from participating vendors to eligible counties. Requires the Center to receive proposals and establish agreements with vendors. Details vendor requirements, including that the vendor demonstrate the capability to provide services to counties designated as development tier one or tier two areas, and requiring projects and services to integrate with existing State cybersecurity infrastructure and share resulting data with the State. Requires the Center to develop criteria for eligible counties to demonstrate need and capacity to participate in the program by March 31, 2021. Annually thereafter, requires the Center to report to the specified NCGA committee and division on the program.

    Section 2

    Directs the Department of Information Technology (DIT) to establish a program and project management improvement pilot program as detailed in Section 2 of the act. Requires the Deputy Chief Information Officer (Deputy CIO), subject to the State Chief Information Officer's direction and approval, to adopt and oversee mandatory agency-wide standards, policies, and guidelines for program and project management; issue Departmental regulations and mandatory standards; conduct periodic and annual Departmental reviews; and establish and periodically update a five-year strategic plan for program and project management. Directs the Deputy CIO to designate a Program Management Improvement Director to be charged with implementation of mandatory program management policies and development of a written strategy for enhancing the role of program managers within the DIT, as specified. Requires the Deputy CIO to issue regulations within 270 days of July 1, 2020, addressing the the required skill set and competencies, job series, career path, and certification of program and project managers in DIT. By July 1, 2021, requires DIT to report to the specified NCGA committee and division on the pilot program. Details reporting requirements.

    Section 3

    Enacts GS 143B-1374, creating the Satellite-Based Broadband Grant Fund (Fund) within DIT. Provides that funds in the Fund do not revert, and that appropriated funds to the Fund are considered an information technology project for specified state law purposes. 

    Provides for the DIT Secretary to prescribe and accept applications and sets forth grant application requirements. Directs DIT's Broadband Infrastructure Office (Office) to award grants to applicants that will provide access to the greatest number of unserved households, as defined, to exclude households awarded a grant from the Growing Great Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) program. Grants highest priority to satellite-based providers proposing the provision of broadband service to the greatest number of unserved households situated in census tracts that have been identified as significantly unserved by the Office, even if the proposed area contains portions of households with broadband service. Defines broadband service to mean internet access service, regardless of the technology or medium used to provide the service, with transmission speeds that are equal to or greater than the requirements for the minimum performance tier and with latency equal to or lesser than the requirements for low latency, as both metrics are provided in the identified FCC report, released February 7, 2020. Caps the aggregate amount of total liability for the grants awarded at $4 million, and the total annual liability for grants awarded in a single calendar year at $2.5 million. Provides a formula for grant amounts. 

    Restricts grant award eligibility to the household maintaining broadband service with the grantee for at least 85% of the year the grantee seeks the award. Caps the total grant award for a single household at $500. Requires grantees to annually submit documentation to the Office for verification of eligibility of subscriptions. 

    Requires the Office to enter into an agreement with each grantee that meets 17 specifications, including (1) the total number of unserved households the grantee anticipates subscribing to its broadband service; (2) a guarantee that the grantee will maintain its service to the area, or another Office approved area, for at least five years; and (3) a provision describing grant measurement and administration. Requires all agreements to be reviewed by the Attorney General. Requires the agreement to be personally signed by the Attorney General to be effective against the State. Deems the agreements binding upon the State and not subject to legislative appropriations of State funds.

    Authorizes the Office to reduce the grant, amend agreement terms, or terminate the agreement if the grantee breaches the agreement. Mandates termination if the Office finds that the grantee manipulated or attempted to manipulate data to increase the amount of the grant, in addition to recapturing grant funds disbursed in the corresponding year. 

    Requires grantees to certify availability of the proposed minimum upstream and downstream broadband speeds throughout the project area during the term of the agreement prior to any end user connection. Conditions annual disbursement upon annual certification of compliance with the agreement. Requires Office access to evidence for compliance verification.

    Provides for accounting and distribution of grant funds. States legislative intent to appropriate sufficient funds to the program to meet anticipated cash requirements each fiscal year.

    Requires that grantees include the proposed advertised minimum download and maximum upload speeds and subscription costs in the application for a five-year agreement. Requires annual attestation to the availability of speeds specified, or faster speeds, in the agreement, and reporting of any changes to data caps for the project that differ from the grant application.

    Requires annual reporting by the grantee for the duration of the agreement. Specifies required content of the reports.

    Establishes an annual reporting requirement for DIT to report to the specified NCGA committee and division, by September 1, with six required components regarding the program.

    Caps the total annual liability for grants for the 2020 calendar year at $1 million.

    Section 4

    Amends GS 146-29.2(b1), concerning leases or interest in real property of the State for the purposes of the construction and placement of broadband infrastructure. Adds new provisions regarding determinations for dispositions made under the subsection. Requires the Department of Administration (Department) to prepare and finalize a lease agreement within four months of receiving the lease application by the controlling agency. Requires the controlling agency to coordinate with the Department in preparing a complete application package for the lease request. Requires the Department to enter into the lease pursuant to the terms of the application after four months have elapsed and the application has not been finalized.

    For renewals, requires the Department to prepare and finalize the lease agreement within two months of receiving the request, and if the Department fails to do so, provides for the current lease to continue until the lease is finalized. Requires the Department to coordinate with the Department of Information Technology to develop a streamlined lease development process. Requires all State agencies including the UNC System Office to cooperate with and participate in the streamlined lease development process.

    Effective July 1, 2020, and applies to applications for new leases and lease renewals on or after that date. Expires on January 1, 2025.

    Section 5

    Reduces the specified Fund Code for transfer to the IT Reserve Fund by $12,250,000 in nonrecurring funds for the 2020-21 fiscal year, and increases the appropriation to the Enterprise Security and Risk Management Office in that amount on a nonrecurring basis for the 2020-21 fiscal year. 

    Of the funds available to the Enterprise Security and Risk Management Office, makes appropriations in specified amounts for the following purposes: implementation of the cybersecurity pilot program required in Section 1 of the act, allocation to Gaston College to use to found the Carolina Cyber Network, enhancement of Statewide cybersecurity, and funding the Satellite-Based Broadband Fund.

    Section 6

    Reenacts and incorporates by reference the State Budget Act, GS Chapter 143C.

    Provides for the continued validity of 2019 legislation appropriating funds to entities covered by the act, unless expressly repealed or amended. 

    Effective July 1, 2020, unless otherwise provided.

    Makes conforming changes to the act's titles.


  • Summary date: Mar 14 2019 - More information

    Amends GS 147-64.6 concerning the duties and responsibilities of the State Auditor. Adds the duty to independently examine into and make findings of fact on whether State agencies are adhering to statutory requirements that include conditions precedent, classifications, and similar eligibility or qualifying standards to assure that statutory intent is carried out while the requirements are effective. Further, makes the State Auditor responsible for verification audits for compliance with statutory requirements. Provides that the verification audits for compliance can be initiated at the Auditor's discretion or requested by the Governor or the General Assembly, and do not require advance notice to the organization or State agency being audited. Grants the State Auditor access to examine the accounts and records of any organization or State agency relating to a verification audit for compliance with statutory condition precedent, classification, or other similar eligibility or qualifying standard. 


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