IT lets government 'leap ahead'
- By Dibya Sarkar
- Sep 08, 2000
Information technology improves communication and interaction with constituents,
making it critical to reforming governments at all levels, a panel of reform
experts told a House subcommittee Wednesday.
"Information technology offers...ways to leap ahead and accelerate change,"
said Patricia McGinnis, president and chief executive officer of the Council
for Excellence in Government. "This as a leadership management tool is unparalled."
McGinnis testified before the House Government Management, Information
and Technology Subcommittee about innovative local, tribal, territorial
and state programs that could be duplicated on the federal level.
Use of IT achieves greater cost savings, better efficiency and more
interaction at all levels of government, McGinnis said, adding that states
and municipalities have made "substantial leaps forward" in technology because
the nature of their services is more direct to constituents.
In her testimony before the subcommittee, Gail Christopher, executive
director of the Innovations in American Government program, cited Washington
as one of the most innovative states in using technology to bring services
to residents. She said the application of portals one Web site offering
a broad array of services "holds a lot of promise, particularly for the
The subcommittee also heard from several finalists for the
Innovations in American Government Awards, an annual program
that recognizes innovative programs at local, state and federal agencies.
Last week, the program announced 25 finalists for this year. Among the
* Wisconsin's Lobbyists-on-Line.
Web site users can see which organizations are trying to influence a bill
or rule. The site is updated daily and receives about 3,500 hits daily.
* Perritech, in Perry, Ohio. The student-managed computer sales and service
company for high school students teaches students business and technology
skills through industry-recognized certification programs.
* Expert Advisors software
from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Business owners
or employees can download the software from OSHA's Web site to understand
the agency's regulations and get answers. It reportedly has saved businesses
more than $100 million per year in consultants and attorney fees.
* Risk-focused policing by the
Redlands Police Department, Calif. The program uses sophisticated computer mapping software as well as research, community policing and problem-solving
to lower crime. Since its implementation, major crimes have decreased 36
Ten winners will be announced Oct. 13 in Washington, D.C., and will
receive $100,000 each. The other finalists will get $20,000 grants.