Awards honor model e-gov efforts

A Web-based unemployment insurance application in Kansas and a state-of-the-art military medical supply system were among a half dozen innovative e-government programs honored in the third annual Digital Government Awards June 25.

Sponsored by Accenture and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture and Planning, the awards ( recognized best practices using the Internet and technology in six categories: federal, state, local, higher education, prototype program, and agent of change. This year's winners were selected from 125 finalists.

They include:

* The Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support. With a $2.5 billion medical logistics supply chain, the Defense Department program ( employed Web-based technology and handheld wireless remotes to more efficiently deliver pharmaceutical and medical supplies to customers, negating the need for large inventories at depots and military treatment facilities.

* Kansas Department of Human Resources. The state agency launched a Web-based and interactive voice response unemployment insurance program (, enabling citizens to file online claims and employers to gain around-the-clock access to services.

* Montgomery County, Md., Department of Technology Services. The department provided its citizens with a multichannel approach — a portal (, kiosks and interactive voice response — to gain access to more than 180 services and communicate with the government.

* University of Washington's Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology. To help educators make use of technology, the center created a Web-based suite of resources, training, tools, templates and support. The Catalyst Initiative ( is an information clearinghouse, providing technology workshops for instructors and personalized consulting for faculty for the entire campus.

* Rhode Island Department of Administration. The department ( was honored in the prototype category for an electronic payment engine developed in conjunction with New England Interactive, a subsidiary of e-government company NIC. The e-payment application, which is free to state and local agencies, will permit credit card payments via the Internet. The program is self-funding, meaning no tax dollars were used to develop the application. Investment will be recouped by charging convenience fees to users.

* Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh. He was recognized in the agent of change category for introducing the Kansas Online Uniform Commercial Code filing system in July 2001, replacing manual and paper-based procedures. Built at no cost to his office (, the system made is faster, easier and cheaper for businesses to file. To date, the adoption rate is about 80 percent.

Maryland chief information officer Linda Burek and Mark Forman, associate director of information technology and e-government at the Office of Management and Budget, were among the 16 academic, government, nonprofit and industry experts who judged the entries.


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