E-gov a bridge across agencies

The next step in electronic government is to integrate services across agency

lines, governors and industry professionals agreed Monday at the annual

National Governors' Association conference in State College, Pa.

Government cannot simply focus on how it presents services to its constituents;

it must change the way it delivers the services entirely, members of the

Information Technology Task Force said.

"If you don't transform how you deliver services," Wyoming Gov. Jim

Geringer said, "it doesn't matter if you automate it."

Daniel Brophy, senior vice president for marketing and business development

at Lockheed Martin Corp., said government is "coming to the end of the road"

where citizens will be appeased simply by having a nice presentation and

no true change in results.

"The challenge to governors is to look at the back room. It's not just

the storefront anymore," he said.

Jane Wiseman, of Andersen Consulting, said governments need to

do two things to succeed: Empower citizens with self-service functions so they can solve many

of the problems they face by themselves; and demonstrate leadership, beginning at the governor and chief information

officer level.

By giving citizens the power to help themselves, Wiseman said, government

can focus on more complicated problems.

North Dakota Gov. Edward Schafer went one step further. He said states

must work with each other so that e-government services are shared across

state lines.

Connecticut Gov. John Rowland said states should get out of the information

technology business entirely, outsourcing most of the work.

"We're great at plowing snow, educating kids and keeping people in jail,"

Rowland said, but IT is "not our business and it will take forever to do

it well. Time is the enemy, and government is never going to get there quick

enough."

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