David Fletcher's Government and Technology Weblog : news & perspectives from a long-time egov advocate
Updated: 2/2/2005; 7:08:53 AM.



Monday, January 10, 2005

Back in 2003, I mentioned that Portugal's legislature had authorized the creation of weblogs for all legislators to promote better interaction with their constituents.  Now, I'm more than excited to see that Utah Representative Steve Urquhart of St. George who is the majority whip has a weblog where he shares his thoughts on the legislative process.  And I love this comment that Rep. Urquhart makes in his weblog:

"Mindful of the poor relationship between the executive and legislative branches in recent years -- and how that doesn't help the State in any way -- the House will go far out of its way to accommodate our new governor. We need him to be successful."

If Utah is going to move to a new level in defining citizen service and government efficiency, this kind of attitude is what it will take from both the executive, as well as the legislative branches.  There have certainly been times when the relationship has been strained.  I'm not sure that needs to be the case when both branches are really trying to do what is best for the state.

LaVarr Webb has updated his excellent UtahPolicy.com site and mentions a new weblog, The Legacy Parkway Hotsheet which has the goal of promoting the development of a new highway.

6:18:52 PM    comment []

bonj is blogging about some of the changes in Missouri state government.  Gov. Matt Blount recently named new officials to oversee the Office of Administration and the CIO.  They will move into their new positions today, along with the rest of the new administration.  In general, it is a good idea for these two positions to work well together.  In a few states like Missouri, the CIO reports to Administration / Administrative Services.  According to the Governor's press release:

"Keathley and Ross will oversee the consolidation of the Information Technology (IT) and telecommunications functions in the executive branch of state government, a key pledge made by Blunt in his campaign for governor. A similar plan implemented by the state of Florida resulted in millions of dollars in savings for taxpayers."

Missouri recently completed its annual "State of the State Information Technology Report".  According to the report, Missouri only offers 23 online services.  I can't imagine that it would be so few.  I maintain a list of Utah's online services which now exceed 200.  The report also states that only 3 of 25 counties and 19 of 946 cities offer online services.  Again, that is extremely low.  I haven't counted online services for Utah cities and towns, but several, including Ogden, Salt Lake City, and Utah County have been named in the top 10 nationally by the Center for Digital Government.  Utah offers a number of services cooperatively with the local governments, including the one-stop business registration service which allows businesses to register with state, local, and federal agencies in one, easy-to-use online service.

I would also recommend to the incoming CIO that they move toward standardization in email.  I noticed from the report that they use a variety of email services, including Outlook, Notes, and Groupwise.  Utah has benefited greatly from the use of a common email standard.

I really like some of the things that Missouri has done, including their news service which includes numerous RSS feeds which seem to be well maintained..

8:02:23 AM    comment []

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