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Not so electronic government

I guess you really do notice things more when it hits close to home, but let me share a tale of what appears to be e-gov gone wrong.

I live in northwest Washington, D.C. just off the Rock Creek Park. For those of you who may not know the area, Rock Creek Park is this wonderful area that runs from the Potomac River right near the Mall all the way out to the Maryland border. As you might imagine, the park is heavily used – the Rock Creek Parkway is heavily by drivers, but it is also a recreation area. It is part of one of my favorite bike loops.

So the WP this morning has a story, which they tease off the front page, about the new Rock Creek Park management plan. Given that I use the park – it is part of my daily commute – I was interested to find the plan.

I was hopeful that the WP would provide a link to the plan. BZZZ!
So I search Google, which provides me with the Park Service's Rock Creek Park page. I search on there for awhile -- management documents, maybe? Not that I could tell.

I eventually went to try Google's Uncle Sam, keyed in "Rock Creek Park management plan," which took me to this site, which seems may be a step in the right direction, but when I click around, I can't really tell what is new, when things were posted... In addition, I'm not sure how somebody would actually find this site other than a Google search.

I clicked for awhile there until I grew frustrated and decided to try something else.
So I went to the Park Service's main page, their press release page… on and on but all for naught.

So I called their press office. The person there didn't know. She suggested that I use their search engine, which didn't seem to come up with what I was looking for.
She gave the number of the superintendent of the park, who directed me to the director of plans, which whom I left a voice mail message.

How many real people actually go through this?

And can offer some notes when the Interior Department gets its e-gov grade on the management score card?

If anybody knows where I can find this document…

I am putting the spotlight on the Park Service -- well, I guess I am, but I don't mean to. I understand that this stuff is not always easy -- we don't always get it right! -- and I don't think the Park Service is alone.

Perhaps this just says something about people's expectations.

But my quest continues.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Nov 30, 2005 at 12:15 PM


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