Technology Authority to guide Georgia IT
- By Daniel Keegan
- Jul 13, 2000
To provide a centralized information technology organization working across
agency lines, Georgia has created the Georgia Technology Authority.
The authority, which came together July 1 and will have its first board
meeting next week, will provide "more centralized access to information
technology," said Jim Flowers, the state's assistant to the governor for
The group, composed of 12 members (one nonvoting), will manage the state's
"It's going to work to spend our money more wisely and spend it according
to plan," Flowers said.
The authority was discussed as part of "Government Across The Boundaries,"
a meeting Wednesday at the E-Gov 2000 conference in Washington, D.C. The
session focused on ways that government can be more citizen-friendly through
its Internet sites.
Also participating in the discussion were: Joan Steyaert, deputy associate
administrator for the Office of Information Technology at the General Services
Administration, Georgia state Sen. Mike Polak, and Eric Kirkendall of the
United State Department of Agriculture's National Information Technology
Polak, chair of the Defense, Science and Technology Committee and a
member of the E-commerce Study Committee, said one of the key problems for
legislators is poor communication and lack of knowledge about IT.
He suggested that elected officials work to build relationships with
the community, vendors and agencies to learn. Legislators must also work
to take down "hidden barriers" to electronic commerce, such as laws that
require paperwork, he said.
Steyaert said governments must consider three types of risk: economic,
technological and institutional. To minimize risks, Steyaert said, states
must have strong leaders, identify operations that increase productivity
while decreasing costs and view electronic government as a way to help citizens
as well as make internal operations more efficient.
The authority members were appointed by the various government branches
to provide diversity. Gov. Roy Barnes appointed seven, the speaker of the
house appointed two, the lieutenant governor appointed two, and the chief
justice of Georgia's Supreme Court appointed one, the nonvoting member.