Study: Best e-gov involves citizens

Report: "Citizen Expectations for Electronic Government"

The most successful e-government programs are the ones in which agencies

get input directly from citizens and offer more than one way to interact

with services, according to a study by the Intergovernmental Advisory Board.

Led by the General Services Administration, the study gathered information

from 19 government agencies, including 11 at the state and local level,

five federal agencies and five international organizations.

Fairfax County, Va., and the United Kingdom are examples of governments

that use panels, focus groups and town hall meetings to get citizen input,

according to the report. Those governments also provided the most access

points, getting e-government to the greatest number of people.

"It does appear that those governments that actively include citizens in

their planning, development and implementation of electronic government

initiatives will be the most successful in meeting citizen expectations,"

the report states.

In both Fairfax County and the UK, citizen inclusion showed that while the

Internet and computers are part of e-government expectations, voice-response

telephone systems and multimedia kiosks also are popular ways to interact

with agencies.

Such systems address citizens' expectations to be able to communicate with

government around the clock, but providing multiple approaches also gets

the services to many people usually left out by the digital divide, according

to the report.

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