Plans across the waters

UK Office of the e-Envoy

The United Kingdom may have a smaller population base and a centrally funded office, but U.S. agencies can still learn lessons about e-government from their neighbor across the Atlantic, according to e-government experts.

"We're all going through the same things at different levels," said Mayi Canales, co-chairwoman of the federal CIO Council's E-government Committee.

Many U.K. e-government lessons mirror U.S. agency experiences, starting with the Bush administration's insistence that any technology reforms be part of a larger effort to change the way government provides services.

Some observers have focused on the funding issue. White House officials have proposed an e-government fund that would total $100 million over the next three years, while the United Kingdom will spend about $1.5 billion.

But funding differences are not the issue, according to Ann Steward, director of e-government in the United Kingdom's Office of the e-Envoy. "It could have been any number in terms of, if you give us more, we'll do more."

The important thing, Steward said, is making sure that agencies and departments develop solid business plans with their share of the money. Those plans must be part of the larger effort to change how government interacts with its citizens.

"Our mantra is very much about the re-engineering and not just the "e' attachments," she said.

The Bush administration is focusing on a similar theme, even as it has created an associate director of information technology and e-government position at the Office of Management and Budget. During his first month in that position, Mark Forman has spoken at multiple public and private meetings about the need to use e-government as a critical element in a management reform agenda.

Many have championed this idea in the past, but having a central IT leader the way other nations do could make a big difference, said Alan Balutis, executive director and chief operating officer of the Federation of Government Information Processing Councils.

Placing Forman in charge of all e-government efforts while working within the larger structure of OMB ensures that all the issues are considered as a package, Balutis said. "He's got a real sense for how to do this, where to focus his attention," he said.

Even before Forman's appointment, the CIO Council looked at other countries' e-government processes, Canales said. "We've been able to learn a great deal in how other countries have restructured their processes prior to automating, going to e-government," she said.

At ground level, e-government proj.ects must be broken down into "chewable chunks modules that you are able to actually digest," Steward said.

Instead of a grand, long-term project unveiled with fanfare, initiatives should have shorter goals that build toward a larger result. That demonstrates success to leaders and provides citizens with a usable product, Steward said. It also makes room for feedback and needed adjustments.

The U.K. Online Web portal (www.ukonline. gov.uk) went through such a process. Steward's staff spent months meeting with citizen groups and agency representatives to develop a beta version, which went online last December. The office staff then spent nearly three months gathering comments from citizens, businesses and government agencies, and in February, a refined version went live with a prominent "editor's update" section where users can find out how the site is changing and provide feedback.

Many similar initiatives are under way in the United States, including the federal FirstGov portal's recent addition of links to states' Web sites. But the difference in size and complexity of the U.S. system makes any government reform effort more complex.

"This engine is much larger than any of the other engines out there," said Don Arnold, national vice chairman of the Industry Advisory Council.

MORE INFO

E-gov advice from the U.K.

Ann Steward, head of e-government efforts for the United Kingdom, has

these suggestions for a smoother U.S. transition to e-government:

* Make sure e-government reform is part of general government reform.

* Work closely with other agencies to create an agenda that reflects

collective needs, not just the needs of a particular office.

* Establish common project management practices to ensure that project goals

are followed from development through deployment.

* Break projects down into smaller modules with break points at which

progress can be evaluated and the project adjusted if necessary.

* Get input from senior agency officials and members of Congress, and

make sure they understand what is happening and why.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.