Letter to the editor

An article in your March Government E-Business issue, "E-gov misses local connection," makes the very point that portal development — the heart of e-government — was intended to solve.

It is true that many local governments cannot afford to create a robust set of services themselves. However, look at the basic services that many provide. You will find that they represent regional, state and federal programs that are common to a wider universe. The portal concept should be able to take those kinds of services and have them developed at once for use by a wider group.

Years ago, we developed Alex, the employment computing kiosk, using that very principle. The New York Department of Labor did an excellent job of creating the applications, and the rest of the states linked to it, supported it with small pockets of funding, and made it successful. Why not do that with myriad other programs?

A number of regional organizations out there take the government's money to provide services, include this type of development among those services. Develop regional portals for common services and let the data be routed to the states, counties and local administrations where it is used.

Perhaps then everyone could afford to enhance their offerings instead of wringing their hands that the task is impossible in times of reduced revenue.

John Tieso
Tieso & Associates Inc.

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March 27, 2002

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