IT executives talk shop at NASIRE

State government minds came together with industry representatives to talk

technology and swap ideas in Asheville, N.C. — this week for the midyear

meeting of the National Association of State Information Resource Executives.

Digital government was the main topic of conversation, fueling panel discussions

on linking state, local and federal criminal justice networks, the digital

divide and the push to showcase government services through online portals.

And there was plenty of talk about how now more than ever, governments seemed

at the precipice of major change orchestrated through technology. And how

citizens are pushing their governments to match the private-sector's level

of electronic services.

"We're building government the way we used to build cars 50 years ago,"

said Steve Goldsmith, the former mayor of Indianapolis and the keynote speaker.

"People want mass customization. They expect more."

Goldsmith said public officials are very interested in spending money on

technology. With bureaucracy out of the way, the next two years could bring

plenty of changes for "customer satisfaction," he said.

Jeffery Eisenach, president of The Progress and Freedom Foundation, said

now is also the time to make sure that people are getting the fast, efficient

service implied through the launch of government World Wide Web sites.

"We need to be truly integrating the back office, not just slapping a fancy

facade on top of a messy back office," he said, adding that government sites

must be easy to use, guarantee privacy and be well thought out.

Mainly chief information officers and their staffs representing 36 state

governments attended the conference. Hundreds of others from technology

companies also filled out the roster for the two-day event.

REPORT CARD

"NASIRE might hire a Washington representative" [civic.com, April 24, 2000]

NASIRE

BY Jill Rosen
May 4, 2000

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