Denver retains e-gov title

2004 Urban E-Government Study

Cities across the country continue to jockey for position on e-government, with local governments at varying places on the scale of providing the best information and services to citizens online.

Denver came in at the top of the fourth annual Urban E-Government Study conducted by the Taubman Center for Public Policy at Brown University, The city maintained its position in the 2003 study, although its overall score dropped.

Released earlier this month, the study ranked the top largest city governments based on eight factors, including the availability of information, the number of online services, privacy and security policies, and access for users with disabilities.

Many cities improved between 2003 and this year's evaluation. For example, San Diego moved up to second place from 18th; New York City to third from 38th; Washington, D.C., to fourth from 15th; and Los Angeles to fifth from 36th.

Analysts determined the rankings by evaluating the Web sites of each city's executive, legislative and judicial offices, as well as those of the agencies providing crucial government services.

Overall, one of the top reasons for upward movement was improved privacy and security policies. However, the percentage of cities providing services online dropped from 48 percent to 40 percent, according to the study.

At the bottom of the group were West Palm Beach, Fla.; Syracuse, N.Y.; Greenville, N.C.; Pittsburgh and Cleveland -- all of which ranked lower than the lowest 2003 score.

Meanwhile, the Center for Digital Government recently announced the 2004 results for its annual Best of the Web competition, which evaluates Web portals submitted by local governments at the city and county levels.

Center officials named Fort Collins, Colo., as the top city portal, and Miami-Dade County, Fla., as the top county portal. The evaluations were based on several factors, including innovation, online services, efficiency and improved citizen access.

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