NECCC releases e-gov guide
- By Dibya Sarkar
- Dec 14, 2000
While e-government has become a priority among municipal and state governments,
lawmakers and administrators are apparently still unclear on what to do
and how to proceed. To address this uncertainty, the National Electronic
Commerce Coordinating Council unveiled a guide Wednesday at its annual national
conference to help governments sort through such issues and concerns.
NECCC officials said this is the first guide to specifically address
what governments need to do to progress into the digital age. P.K. Agarwal,
chief information officer and executive vice president of for eGovernment
Applications at NIC, a leading e-government provider, said that while entire
books are devoted to e-commerce, little has been written about e-government.
"Nobody has three years experience in this field," said Agarwal, who
is also the former California Franchise Tax Board CIO. "Everybody's learning
as we go."
The guide explains why e-government is essential and how it is different
from the business sector. While it is not a comprehensive guide, it is a
starting point for governments, said J.D. Williams, Idaho state controller
and outgoing NECCC chair.
The "E-Government Strategic Planning" guide should be used as a baseline
so legislators and other government officials know what to ask when considering
a digital application, Williams said.
The 34-page guide touches on several topics that governments should
address, such as leadership, laws and regulations, governance, competency
and technology. Within these topics, the guide also discusses electronic
records management, privacy and security concerns, funding, performance
measurement, contract and project management, best practices and relationship
management as issues.
While NECCC officials said these components are important in developing
e-government, they added that leadership and governance are more important.
"Successful programs have strong leaders," Williams said.
Governments can take stock of their e-government activities through
an "E-Gov Readiness Quiz," a checklist of 32 questions. The guide outlines
what officials should consider when creating an implementation and strategic
About 40 public and private sector officials worked on the guide, which
took most of this year to develop. The guide is to be posted on NECCC's
Web site, www.ec3.org, next week.