Reports reveal e-gov lessons

"The Use of Internet in Government Service Delivery"

Governments at all levels can learn from one another — as well as from the

private sector — as they integrate e-commerce services into their e-government

frameworks, according to a pair of reports released Thursday.

The reports, released by PricewaterhouseCoopers' Endowment for the Business

of Government, examine case studies at the local, state and federal levels

and provide roadmaps for government leaders designing e-government solutions.

One study, "The Use of Internet in Government Service Delivery," looked

at cases in Alaska, Florida, Indiana, Texas, Boston and in the Internal

Revenue Service, and listed 11 steps for governments to follow to implement

Web-based services:

* Create a Web strategy.

* Identify, describe and analyze the operational steps of the service

being considered for Web-based delivery.

* Benchmark against similar services in other jurisdictions or organizations.

* Develop a pilot project to test use in one district or for one element

of the service.

* Analyze results of the pilot.

* Develop options for instituting wide-scale Web delivery of services.

* Conduct a cost-benefit analysis of piloted alternatives.

* Make a selection.

* Develop a data collection for operational performance of the service,

its costs and benefits.

* Analyze performance data, costs and benefits.

* Perform periodic reviews of service delivery, and then modify format

and operations as needed.

The other report, "Commerce Comes to Government on the Desktop: E-Commerce

Applications in the Public Sector," discusses e-commerce applications, with

examples from the public and private sectors.

Case studies included innovations in San Carlos, Calif.; strategic planning

in Washington state; Massachusetts' leverage of local partnerships; and

the Defense Department's EMall project. The case studies resulted in recommendations

for focusing on planning and expertise, customer/citizen service, and resources.

The study concluded that while the future of e-commerce in the public

sector is bright, with projects such as the federal FirstGov portal and

California's $10 million e-government initiative, many challenges remain,

including:

* Privacy, security and confidentiality of citizens' records.

* The digital divide between technology haves and have-nots.

* The limited scope of public-sector operations when compared with the

global audience of private-sector counterparts.

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