CIOs optimistic about e-gov
- By Dibya Sarkar
- Apr 12, 2002
How will shrinking state budget revenues affect e-government?
That depends on which state chief information officer you talk to. A
survey of more than two dozen state officials at the National Association
of State Chief Information Officers midyear meeting April 9 showed interesting
When asked whether they expected to see spending increase, decrease
or remain the same for government-to-citizen e-government solutions in their
state next year, 40 percent of the respondents said increase, 24 percent
said decrease and 36 percent said it would remain the same.
When asked the same question regarding government-to-employee e-government
solutions, 46 percent said spending would increase, 12 percent said decrease,
and 42 percent said it would stay the same.
Finally, for government-to-business solutions, 38 percent said spending
would increase, 8 percent said decrease, while 54 percent said it would
South Dakota CIO Otto Doll said he was surprised by the responses and
that they were a "little optimistic." He said some CIOs will see a change
in administrations, meaning that some will be entering a bad budget situation
because he's heard candidates talk about not raising taxes and "squeezing
efficiencies" out of government.
Eugene Huang, deputy secretary of technology in Virginia, said he is
optimistic because Gov. Mark Warner is "at heart a technologist" and believes
technology can be used to bring cost efficiencies.
CIO Charles Gerhards of Pennsylvania said there's a "basic political
reality" associated with e-government. It reaches out to the citizen and
provides them with a direct benefit they can quantify and appreciate, such
as getting driver's and hunting licenses via the Web, he said.
Because of such constituent involvement, e-government is less a "political
target" than other information technology projects in the state legislature,
Georgia CIO Larry Singer said e-government is about improving business
processes, whether it's tax collection or case management, while Aldona
Valicenti, CIO for Kentucky, said it's really about offering another channel
of service. And if it's done right, then the infrastructure change will
follow, she said.
Nevada's CIO, Terry Savage, said people won't see multimillion-dollar
IT projects anymore, but "nibbling little pieces," meaning technology applications
and programs will be implemented incrementally. He said he expects to see
an increase in government-to-citizen applications in his state, such as
revamping Web sites.
In Colorado, CIO Bob Feingold said he wants increased investment in
government-to-employee applications. He said they would measure such effects
carefully such as improved productivity and delivery of services.