Wanted: E-gov leaders

There's a bright outlook for U.S. e-government initiatives at all levels as long as agencies go about them the right way. That includes having strong leaders and keeping customers in mind, according to an Oracle executive. Jack Pellicci, group vice president for global business development at Oracle Service Industries, said e-government efforts are only effective if governments know their customers and understand their needs. He was speaking at the 21st Century Commerce International Expo in Phoenix recently.

Pellicci, a retired Army brigadier general, has more than 30 years of government service and a dozen years at Oracle. He outlined a number of challenges facing e-government initiatives, including infrastructure needs, security and privacy concerns, and a lack of funding. But he said those can be resolved through assorted keys to success including committed leadership, customer- centric processes, integrated solutions, strategic partnerships, ease of use and personalization features.

The Arizona government has been following these steps and has made great strides in the online services it offers its citizens and employees, said the state's chief information officer, Richard Zelznak. In addition to being the first state to enable residents to renew vehicle registrations online, Arizona has several new initiatives planned for the next six months.

For instance, the state is in the initial stages of electronically transferring benefits data to the Social Security Administration nightly. Also, officials are working with the Arizona Corporation Commission to move filing information online and are working to install a permit process to eliminate engineering obstacles for broadband expansion along interstates, once funding is available.

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