Bulgaria for the People
- By Bryant Jordan, Heather B. Hayes, Heather Harreld
- Apr 24, 2000
Proponents of digital government envision the Web providing a way for
the public to directly interact with government employees. Visions of taxpayers
submitting last-minute tax questions to an IRS agent are not too farfetched,
online experts say.
But it has not happened yet, and few federal agencies have developed
applications that allow citizens to interact with federal employees. The
closest thing to it may be a Web site run by the Republic of Bulgaria.
The site includes an area devoted to discussion of Bulgarian government
programs and policies. Bulgarians can e-mail comments or questions to government
workers and receive answers from the ministers who oversee the departments
fielding the queries, according to Nena Nedelcheva, the Web manager of Bulgaria's
Any Bulgarian citizen may ask a question or express an opinion on any
issue, Nedelcheva wrote in an e-mail to FCW last week. The expert or minister
with knowledge in the subject area answers the questions, she said.
Questions have touched on tourism, technological development, Bulgarians
living overseas, economics, protection of minorities and immigration.
David Weinberg, an advocate of e-government and editor of the online
journal "The Hyperlinked Organization," said the site is one of the best
government sites he has seen. "We have sites that give good information,
some that allow input from citizens but they're often "how do you like
this site?' rather than about issues," he said.