Netgov.com latest to enter e-government race
- By Dan Caterinicchia, Dan Caterinicchia
- Jun 12, 2000
Netgov.com, an electronic government company created to help facilitate
greater interaction between citizens and their state and local governments,
launched last week, joining a host of similar businesses in the increasingly
crowded e-government marketplace.
But what separates this company from its business-to-government counterparts
is that it's not proposing to create portals or dump loads of software on
agencies. Instead, Netgov.com aims to enhance municipalities' current online
capabilities and help them launch site-specific applications, said Bruce
Masterson, president and chief operating officer at Netgov.
"We want to work with local governments to brand solutions into their Web
sites," Masterson said. "We're really focused on cities and counties, with
some state plans, and we'll be making some announcements in the next two
or three weeks about agreements we've signed, and we have others in the
Stephen Goldsmith, the former mayor of Indianapolis, is chairman of the
Chicago-based company, and William Lederer, who created the multimillion-dollar
Art.com e-commerce site, is the vice-chairman.
Goldsmith gained wide recognition during his two terms as mayor during the
1990s for outsourcing many government services. He established 170 separate
government functions and applied the "Yellow Pages" rule to each one.
If the government was in the same business as more than three private companies,
Goldsmith reasoned, the public sector was probably not doing it as well,
and therefore should outsource the business. According to government watchers,
Goldsmith's techniques effectively changed the way the Indianapolis government
In addition to Goldsmith's municipal leadership background, Netgov announced
the appointment of three former mayors to its advisory board: Ed Rendell
of Philadelphia, Kurt Schmoke of Baltimore and Jerry Abramson of Louisville,
Netgov.com's city and county focus, as opposed to the larger state and federal
deals, is based on its leadership's expertise in those areas and the high
number of transactions at the lower levels of government, said Steve Waldon,
chief technology officer at Netgov.com.
"We're a portal enabler for municipalities and are focused on those that
have high transaction rates between citizens and businesses and the government,"
The company will make money though licensing fees, transaction fees or convenience
charges paid either by the governments or the constituents — or a combination
of those options.