From Kim Schaefer, CPA:
FastTrackGov conducted an on-line survey of municipal governments across the United States in an effort to assess the level at which these organizations are implementing collaborative strategies to improve efficiency and transparency while providing timely and relevant information to their citizens.
We found that two-thirds of our respondents provide some on-line citizen services, with the most popular being Citizen Requests/Complaint Tracking. Over one-half of the organizations have a Citizen Request/Complaint Tracking portal in operation currently, with another one-third planning to implement one in the future.
Of the organizations that provide for on-line submittal, parks and recreation and pet licensing also provided for on-line payments in all cases. Permitting and occupational and business licenses allowed on-line payments in approximately one-third of the organizations allowing on-line submittal.
While on-line citizen services are important to these organizations, very few have implementation projects in progress currently and only approximately ten percent have plans to implement on-line citizen services in the next twelve months. The primary obstacle sited is a lack of budget. When budget dollars are tightened new technologies are often the first to be cut. The best way around this is to find technologies with proven return on investment by looking to other organizations to see what they are doing.
Many are also looking into new, subscription-based offerings to provide the technological advantage without requiring the capital investment necessary to run traditional software applications.
DETAILED SURVEY FINDINGS:
The majority of respondents provide their citizens with on-line citizen services.
Do you currently provide your citizens with a portal on your website through which they can access on-line services and/or complete on-line transactions?
Citizen requests and pet licensing are the most popular on-line services at 89% and 58% respectively with building permits and business licensing each generating significant visibility with approximately 50% of organizations currently providing these on-line.
Indicate categories for which you currently provide on-line accessible application and/or renewal forms.
Nearly two-thirds of citizen requests and complaints can be submitted on-line at respondent organizations. While the respondents providing parks and recreation provided for approximately 40% of those requests to be handled on-line.
Indicate categories for which forms can be completed and submitted on-line.
Of those organizations providing on-line form submittal, many also provided for on-line payments for certain services. For example, 100% of the parks and recreation requests and pet licenses submitted on-line provided for on-line payment.
Indicate categories for which on-line payments can be submitted along with completed on-line forms.
Over one-third of organizations responding to the survey currently provide some level of on-line citizen service. Of those organizations that do not currently provide on-line citizen services, over half said they had future plans for adding them.
Do you provide your citizens with a single, on-line location where they can request services, report problems, issue complaints, and complete citizen satisfaction surveys?
The current state of the economy is certainly reflected in the current lack of implementation projects and the absence of projects in the next twelve months. However, there is a general optimism that as Gov 2.0 becomes more prevalent and the return on investment of these projects is clearly identified, this technology will continue to be adopted.
Please indicate your current level of on-line service adoption for each of the areas listed.
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