Albany, NY - Government agencies at every level are putting more and more information and services on the Internet. But creating and implementing e-government is a difficult task that requires skillful development, artful collaboration, and significant resources.
This is the message shared by more than 100 New York state and local government officials today at a special e-government roundtable hosted by the University at Albany's Center for Technology in Government (CTG). and the New York State Forum for Information Resource Management (NYSFIRM).
The half-day meeting and discussion involved managers and information technology and public policy specialists from dozens of state agencies and local governments in New York. All of these people are currently engaged in, or about to begin, e-government work.
The goal of the roundtable was to identify the questions and issues emerging from e-government initiatives as described by the people in the trenches. CTG will use the roundtable results to develop tools and guides that will help governments work through their e-government projects.
"The work needed to create e-government is very important, highly visible, and admittedly difficult," CTG Director Sharon Dawes told the roundtable participants. "We want to understand the specific challenges you are facing so we can shape our own work over the next 12 months to help you meet them."
E-government became a top priority in New York State last summer when Gov. George Pataki announced the "Government Without Walls" initiative. This program calls for "a more accessible, less intrusive government that is available to anyone, at any time, and from any where." In addition to 75 high priority e-government programs that are being worked on now, hundreds of other projects are going on in state agencies and local governments.
CTG is dedicated to helping these agencies and governments work through the process of developing and implementing e-government initiatives. For more than eight years, CTG has been helping government develop strategies and tools for innovative use of information technology. In the case of e-government, CTG will spend the next year researching the issues surrounding the electronic delivery of information and services, and creating solutions.
Today's e-government roundtable was a critical first step in CTG's research plan. State and local officials who are enmeshed in e-government projects spent the morning discussing the problems, challenges, and issues they're facing. The discussions centered on such topics as: privacy and security, back office systems integration, and customer service.
CTG will now analyze the comments made at the roundtable and respond to them with reliable, timely, and practical tools and guidelines that can help government agencies design and build our government without walls.
"CTG expects to issue frequent reports that address specific issues or questions raised in the e-government roundtable, offer technology awareness sessions that explore the newest technical concepts and applications, and produce case studies of e-government efforts and the lessons they have to teach us all," Dawes said.
The mission of the Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany is to foster public sector innovation, enhance capability, generate public value, and support good governance. We carry out this mission through applied research, knowledge sharing, and collaboration at the intersection of policy, management, and technology.