Texas-size report pushes e-gov
- By Dibya Sarkar
- Jan 15, 2001
Texas taxpayers could save as much as $1.2 billion over the next two years
if the state reforms and streamlines government services - including doing
more business over the Internet according to a new public/private report
released by the state comptroller's office.
The report was developed by the e-Texas
Commission, a 14-member committee formed by Carole Keeton Rylander, the
comptroller of public accounts, an elected position.
The lengthy report (more than 1,100 pages) is wide-ranging, but its focus
is on e-government and how technology can transform service and save money.
Technology-related recommendations include:
* Creating an "e-Texas University" to deliver the state's core curriculum
via the Internet and other distance-learning methods. It would become a
clearinghouse for online courses and degrees offered by the state's other
colleges and universities.
* Requiring certain regulatory agencies to offer online occupational and
professional licensing services through the state portal, expanding online
vehicle registration and creating a one-stop online service for new businesses
* Developing an Internet-based procurement system in which state agencies,
local governments and school districts can combine purchasing power to save
money and use employee time more efficiently when shopping for goods and
* Expand the use of telemedicine to provide cost-effective care to children
with special health care needs, including developing policies allowing for
reimbursement of such usage.
Overall, the report makes 305 recommendations and proposes 129 statutory
changes but does not recommend any new fees or tax increases.
The report covers secondary and higher education, the environment, public
safety and corrections, transportation, health and human services, workforce
issues, human resource management, financial management and e-government.
Not all of the recommendations are related to technology. For example, the
report recommends better salaries and benefits for teachers, encourages
cleanup of abandoned and contaminated industrial or commercial sites, and
advocates strengthening drunken driving laws.
Rylander's report, released late last year, comes at the heels of another
state government study last October advocating greater usage of technology
in government. State lawmakers are expected to act on several recommendations.