Jury system takes e-gov prize

A patent-pending jury selection system that would enable citizens to respond to jury duty notices via the Internet or telephone won the inaugural Imagine E-Government Awards Competition July 19.

The winner, Washington, D.C., attorney Tenley Carp, will receive a $50,000 cash award from the Council for Excellence in Government (www.excelgov.org), which sponsored the competition. Her proposal, called Jurysignup.com, also establishes citizen eligibility for jury duty, and can send questionnaires before the potential juror goes to a courthouse.

According to the council, a nonprofit group that seeks to improve government performance, Carp is in discussions with two court systems to implement pilot programs. She has been developing the system for the past two years.

The seven other finalists in the competition included:

    * WebCheck, an Internet-based technology used in the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation to conduct fingerprint-based background checks for schools, nursing homes and day care centers.

    * vapatient.com, a proposed Web site and kiosk unit that would provide veterans with information regarding medical treatment and improve communication between them and their doctors, as well as with other government agencies.

    * The Protective Order Internet Inventory, proposed databases with information from circuit courts to help police protect abused women and children.

    * iBill, an idea to use the Web to bring women into the legislative process and create, introduce and lobby for congressional action.

    * i-to-eye, a proposed Web site to provide taxpayers with information about how their tax dollars are being used in their communities.

    * USAemail, a proposal for a lifetime e-mail forwarding system and accompanying government information.

    * Community Help Desk, a Westchester County, N.Y., program providing free expert assistance and services to anyone concerned about a troubled child or senior citizen.

The competition (www.excelgov.org/techcon/awardwinner), which was announced by President Clinton last summer to advance e-government, drew 130 ideas. Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government selected 30 finalists, and the council whittled that to eight.

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