El Paso rolling toward e-gov
- By Brian Robinson
- Jun 19, 2002
City of El Paso
If everything goes as planned, El Paso, Texas, will have around-the-clock
e-government running by the end of July, a pretty big advance given that
many city employees didn't even have Internet access a year ago.
When Jim Pulliam arrived at that time as El Paso's director of information
technology, information technology was still pretty new to the city. The
city Web site was not a good one, three different word processors were used
throughout the government, files could not be sent from one incompatible
system to another and a help desk wasn't even available to sort out problems,
On the plus side, there was a fiber network with a huge amount of available
bandwidth, but it wasn't being utilized and none of the city's departments
were using the Internet.
"However, from my point of view, this turned out to be a good thing
because I could build [the IT infrastructure] almost as new and not have
to mess around with things that were already in place," Pulliam said.
The city has relied primarily on Computer Associates International Inc.
technology to centralize network management throughout the government and
build e-mail service for internal use among employees and for government-to-citizen
connections. The company's CleverPath Portal will be used to provide Web-based
services for citizens as well as global access for employees to internal
The IT construction process has moved into its third and final phase
to install such things as network security and a PeopleSoft Inc. financial
backend system. One of the final elements will be installation of the network
operating center that will oversee daily management of the whole enterprise.
With about 65 percent of city employees now using the Web, Pulliam said
the next thing is to move online government into the community, with access
points in places such as libraries, senior centers and recreation centers,
and at kiosks in hardware stores.
"The idea is to build these cybercenters so that no matter where people
go in the city, they will be able to do city business online," he said.
Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached
Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.