Cooperation key in e-gov

Creating cross-agency applications would benefit citizens and save money

for state and local jurisdictions, a panel of government technology officials

agreed this week at the 2001 Government Technology Conference Southwest

in Austin, Texas.

James Yamane, Colorado's deputy chief information officer, said that before

the state's Office of Information Technology was formed in 1999, the state's

23 agencies acted autonomously.

"We were really a bunch of vertical shafts," he said in a presentation titled

"Building the New Infrastructure for Digital Government."

He said the state wound up with four statewide telecommunications networks

that resulted in a redundancy in investment resources and competition among

agencies for money.

Panelists, who included Iowa CIO Richard Varn and Illinois deputy CIO Brent

Crossland, talked about ways their states are tackling such redundancies

and creating enterprisewide systems.

Varn said he's trying to get Iowa's 30 or so agencies to use a common architecture

as well as the same standards, Web portal, security platform, and electronic

payment and forms systems. For example, the state could aggregate the delivery

of different permits, ranging from a nursing license to driver's license,

into one area, he said.

Another example is creating an identification system that integrates a public-key

infrastructure with information found in birth, marriage, and death certificates;

driver's licenses; voter registrations; and Social Security records, he

said.

Crossland said that the Illinois state government has 16 e-mail platforms

that he's aiming to standardize by the spring. He also is looking at standardizing

content management, payment processing and commerce services, authentication

and authorization services, broadband network access, and Web and application

server integration.

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