The committee shall make continuing studies concerning the development of access to statewide public telecommunications network for distance learning, telemedicine, and universal access for governmental entities, and other issues concerning advanced communications and information technology, either initiated by the committee or referred to it by either house of the General Assembly for study, in the interim between sessions of the General Assembly. This committee shall review any plan developed or updated by a public instrumentality. The committee may seek the assistance of the Office of Information Technology of the Department of Information Systems in conducting this review. (A.C.A. 10-3-1704) The Committee shall exercise leadership in the interim between legislative sessions and shall attempt to coordinate for the various committees of the General Assembly the various activities, studies, and planning activities of the General Assembly which relate to the development of access to a statewide public telecommunications information infrastructure. The Committee shall cooperate with the Governor, with public secondary and postsecondary institutions of education, with the appropriate administrative agencies of this state, with legislative and administrative agencies and institutions of other states, and with the federal government and others in the planning and development of access to a statewide public telecommunications infrastructure linking institutions, businesses, government agencies, schools, hospitals, libraries, communities, and other public and private entities to the national information infrastructure. The Committee shall exercise appropriate legislative oversight of the operations of the Department of Information Systems. The staff of the Joint Committee on Advance Communications and Information Technology shall serve as staff liaison to the Department of Information Systems Advisory Board and the Department of Information Systems Steering Committee.
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