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Eagleton Institute of Politics - 60th Anniversary
Eagleton Institute of Politics


Electronic Government Project

E-Gov Administration

Trends in state government administration of technology services primarily has focused on efforts to centralize administration, supplanting to varying degrees the traditional organizational structure of state governments that allowed individual departments and agencies the freedom to administer their own services, typically through their own departmental data processing, information technology or communications staff.

As technology has become a more significant factor for the operation of state agencies and their programs, there has been a gradual shift toward centralizing these services to achieve economies of scale; to establish a  more professional technology staff; and to develop compatible equipment and systems across all state agencies. Some states have adopted master plans outlining specific goals and timetables for performance  (e.g. Maryland; Washington)

Another aspect of this trend toward centralization and consolidation is the creation of a single point of administration for state information technology services, either through a designated department, inter-departmental committee (eg Kansas, Delaware) or member of the governor's staff (New Jersey). This organization is similar to the shift in organizational structure in large private sector corporations, where the increase in importance of information and communications technology has elevated the role and significance of the chief information or technology officer to the status of a key member of senior management.

Additional sources for information the organization and administration of electronic government and information technology include the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), the Council of State Governments; the National Governors Association; and the National Council of State Legislatures. Media sources include Government Technology and Federal Computer Week.

Washington State Digital Government Plan
Recipient of a 2001 Outstanding Achievement Award in the category of State Planning and Management Initiatives from the National Association of Chief Information Officers, the Washington State Digital Government Plan outlines  specific steps state agencies must take to use the Internet to deliver government services and information; coordinate the development of infrastructure, policy and internet applications among governmental bodies; achieve a "one face" state government that delivers user-friendly online information and services; and promote the use of technology within government to  improve the efficiency of state operations. The Plan seeks to pursue a "build it once" strategy in which agencies avoid duplication of effort, adhere to common standards and use a common infrastructure. 

Maryland Internet Policy Recommendations and Information Technology Master Plan
Developed by the Maryland Information Technology Board, Maryland Internet Policy Recommendations includes various recommendations on how the state should promote public and private sector electronic technology and commerce. Also recommends specific goals for agencies to make services available to the public over the Internet, with 50% of services available in 2002 and a goal of 80% by 2004. Maryland's Information Technology Master Plan directs the chief information officer of each State agency to prepare a master plan for that agency. The state agency master plan describes how the agency will achieve the information technology goals established in the Maryland Information Technology Master Plan.

Delaware Executive Order No. 9
The "first state online" according to the proud boast on the Delaware home page, Governor Ruth Ann Minner signed Executive Order No. 9 on January 22, 2001, creating a permanent E-Government Steering Committee " coordinate the state's Internet presence by creating a uniform set of standards for state agency web sites".

Kansas Information Technology Council
The Kansas Information Technology Council, established by various statutes and executive orders,  is comprised of 17 members appointed by the Governor  responsible for adopting information technology resource policies and procedures and project management methodologies for all state agencies, the legislature and the judiciary. Its members include the chief information technology officers of the executive, legislative and judicial branches; the commissioner of education; city and county representatives; the network manager of the information network of Kansas; and three private sector representatives who are chief executive officers or chief information technology officers. The Council coordinates development of telecommunications systems, networks and equipment; standards for data management; and a strategic information technology management plan for the state. It also designates the ownership of information resource processes and the lead agency for implementation of new technologies and networks shared by multiple agencies in different branches of state government.

California e-gov
Established by an Executive Order of Governor Davis in 2000, the California e-gov initiative set timetables for expanding Internet services and implementing improvements to make public information more accessible. It also directed the state's Department of Information Technology, the Department of Personnel Administration, and the State Personnel Board to develop coordinated approaches to address the recruitment, retention, training and personal development of information technology professionals in the state.