Thinking big

Government Without Boundaries, with its goal of governmentwide interoperability,

sounds a lot like the federal government's FirstGov portal.

In June, FirstGov added links to Web sites from all 50 states, allowing

users to search for both federal and state-based information on government

subjects.

Government Without Boundaries has an even more ambitious target: an

actual integration of information at all levels of government, rather than

just the ability to do extensive searches. By going to the trenches first

and getting local communities involved from the beginning, project leaders

hope to avoid much of the criticism such as a lack of user focus that

FirstGov is experiencing.

"State and local governments are at very different levels of maturity

when it comes to offering online services," said John Clark, Government

Without Boundaries project director. "But one of the advantages of getting

those jurisdictions who are at those lower levels involved early is that

we can take their views into account right from the beginning."

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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