CGI, Keane and Microsoft Lend Technology and Expertise to Develop Prototype
Albany, NY - Today, state and local governments are connected by many separate information systems, each devoted to a single purpose. The University at Albany's Center for Technology in Government (CTG) has initiated a broad collaborative partnership to build and evaluate a State-Local Internet Gateway Prototype to test an innovative alternative for intergovernmental work. The prototype is designed to enable participating agencies and localities to find information, conduct a variety of business processes and form strategic working relationships through one common point.
The partnership includes state agencies, more than a dozen local governments and three information technology corporations: CGI Information Systems and Management Consultants; technology consultants Keane, Inc.; and Microsoft Corporation.
"The question we are trying to answer is whether it is feasible to conduct state-local business through one Internet gateway rather than through the multiple connections used today," said Sharon Dawes, CTG's director. "This project is the first in the United States to try to demonstrate and evaluate a completely different way of working across levels of government."
According to Dawes, CTG's project partners each bring a critical component to the development of the prototype. "State agencies and local governments bring a thorough knowledge of their service programs and business practices, and our corporate partners, CGI, Keane and Microsoft bring technical expertise and experience," Dawes said.
The State-Local Internet Gateway Prototype, slated for testing in October 2003, will channel three distinct transactions through one common point.
"The prototype will demonstrate that we can provide a new channel or common interface for government to government transactions through the Internet," said Bill Cunningham, New York State business development director for CGI, which is providing the platform on which the prototype will be built. "This testbed environment will show state and local government officials the potential challenges and benefits for locating multiple services through one site."
"One of the primary benefits of this research project is that it will demonstrate how business processes that take place between state agencies and local governments can be improved through technology," said Joann Dunham, New York State program manager for Keane. "Improving these business processes can, in turn, enhance the services provided to citizens, which is what we're all trying to do."
Microsoft will provide additional software for the project. "We have been working closely on the issue of connectivity between disparate systems, which is one of the major issues facing transactions between state and local governments," said Bill Branch, Microsoft's client executive -- State of New York. "At the end of the day, if we shed more light on these issues for NYS agencies and local governments, the project will have accomplished its goal."
Throughout the project, the Center will examine the policy, management, technology, and financial factors that influence the development of the prototype. For more details on the project, visit www.ctg.albany.edu/projects/lg2.
"This project builds on recent work with local governments in New York State," said Meghan Cook, project manager and the lead author of CTG's Making a Case for Local E-Government. "One of the promises of electronic government is that technology will enable different levels of government to operate more seamlessly. This prototype will help us better understand what it really takes for that to happen."
CTG has produced other resources designed to support technology innovation at the local level, including Untangle the Web: Delivering Municipal Services Through the Internet, and Tying a Sensible Knot: A Practical Guide to State-Local Information Systems. These reports and others are available at www.ctg.albany.edu/publications/.
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.
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