Survey: City/county e-gov growing
- By Dibya Sarkar
- Aug 12, 2002
ICMA Electronic Government Survey 2002
Following last September's terrorist attacks, 33 percent of cities and counties
have or will change their information security practices and 11 percent
said they have removed information from their Web sites for "security reasons,"
according to a national survey released Aug. 9.
The International City/County Management Association (www.icma.org) conducted a survey of 4,123 cities and counties this spring
on various technology practices including e-government, online procurement,
geographic information systems, communication, financing and intranets.
The survey indicates the continuing use of technology to transform the
way local governments communicate with their constituents and operate internally,
said Bert Waisanen, ICMA's e-government program director.
"We believe that the real change brought about by technology in government
is really not about managing the technology but managing the local government
agency," he said. "The speed of technology requires faster decisions. It
requires quicker service to citizens. It's raising expectations."
Among the survey results:
* More than 70 percent of cities and counties report that their citizens
communicate online with elected officials. "The use of technology to boost
connection to citizens is growing stronger, and we're pleased to see that,"
* 63 percent of local governments use geographic information systems.
"We certainly discovered the role of GIS is really expanding. It's becoming
more important and helpful for a variety of public uses, including emergency
management," he said.
* 65 percent outsource hosting of their Web sites.
* 31 percent offer online requests for citizen services, such as pothole
* 27 percent provide online training through an intranet.
Waisanen said that online transactions are complicated, but will continue
to grow. For example, 5 percent of those surveyed provide an online utility
bill payment service, but 51 percent plan to offer it.
However, he said lack of funding and staff expertise continue to be
the two most daunting challenges among local governments in adopting technology.
He also said many local governments "weave" technology funding throughout
their budgets instead of having it as a separate budget item.