Smaller counties less Net-driven

National Association of Counties

In a survey conducted by the National Association of Counties this spring,

22 percent of counties without World Wide Web sites said they have no plans

to develop one.

Twenty-three percent of U.S. counties responded to the survey. Results

were released in July at the association's annual meeting in Charlotte,

N.C.

"There is no county [that] e-government is not [appropriate] for,"

said Costis Toregas, president of Public Technology Inc., a nonprofit technology

organization for cities and counties in the United States.

Complete results of the survey can be found at NACO's Web site, www.naco.org.

The survey also found that in larger counties, personal computers are

available to most employees, but not in smaller counties. Only a third of

the counties said that all of their departments have e-mail access.

Nearly 61 percent of counties have Web sites. Fifteen percent plan to

develop one. Of the 236 responding counties with 50,000 or more people,

211 have Web sites. Of those counties that have a Web site or plan to have

one, 48 percent said they plan to use it to provide information. Only 8

percent said they'll use the site for transactions.

The few counties dabbling with electronic transactions were most interested

in allowing access to county records. The next most desirable activities

were Web mapping/geographic information system capability and bid proposals.

Money is the main obstacle, respondents said. Other problems include

staffing, security, implementation/ maintenance, keeping up with new technology

and a lack of a technology infrastructure.

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